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Melbourne girl swallows needle hidden in Woolworths apple

The Advertiser 2020-02-12 14:34:00

A Melbourne schoolgirl is undergoing X-rays after swallowing what she believes was part of a needle inside a bag of apples from Woolworths.

Shelby Pewhairangi was eating her lunchtime snack, purchased from Hoppers Crossing Woolworths, on Tuesday when she felt a stabbing pain and a friend noticed a needle hanging from her lip, 7 News reports.

“She said, ‘Get it out of your mouth!’ so I had to spit it out,” the 14-year-old told 7 News. The needle was broken and she is now in hospital waiting for the other half to pass through her body.

“I slept in the room next to her last night because I was really nervous,” her mother Seimone said. “The doctor told us the 24 hours after the accident were crucial.”

Woolworths said it was investigating. “We’ve seen the customer’s report and we’re looking into the matter in line with established procedures,” a spokesperson told 7 News.

“We stand ready to assist authorities in any way we can. While this appears to be an isolated case, we’ve conducted precautionary checks on our stock in the store and found no issues.”

It comes a year-and-a-half after a nationwide panic sparked by needles found in strawberries. More than 180 cases of needles in fruit have been reported since the contamination saga started in September 2018.

It had a severe impact on strawberry farmers and even resulted in an increased jail term for those caught contaminating food products.

My Ut Trinh, a 50-year-old former Queensland farm supervisor, was eventually arrested over the original incidents that sparked a series of copycats. In November 2018 she was charged with seven counts of contamination of goods with intent to cause economic loss.

Originally published as Girl bites into needle in Woolies apple