Strawberries to return to shelves

ALDI announced this afternoon it will be restocking selected strawberry brands to their supermarket shelves follow a total recall at the weekend.

It comes as the strawberry sabotage saga reaches New Zealand with supermarkets pulling the fruit from their shelves.

An Aldi Australia spokesman said the supermarket had been consulting with strawberry growers and regulatory officials over the weekend.

A needle found in one of the contaminated strawberries.
A needle found in one of the contaminated strawberries.

"Following information provided by the Queensland State Health Emergency Co-ordination Centre and the state based Food Safety Authorities, ALDI has decided to return a selection of strawberries back to shelves as soon as the orders can be fulfilled and distributed," they said.

"The safety of customers has been our leading concern throughout this matter. Now that we have processed all the facts and checked with the investigating authorities, our priority is to restore supply to ensure the impact to our primary producers is contained as quickly as possible."

Today, New Zealand's two largest food distributors - Foodstuffs and Countdown (owned by Woolworths)- announced they were stripping shelves of Australian strawberries as a precaution.

Australia's Health Minister Greg Hunt has also ordered the food safety watchdog to investigate Queensland's handling of the issue.

Aldi said they would continue to support the industry during this time.

"The food waste associated with this matter is significant and has been unavoidable," a spokesman said.

"We are actively working with our valued primary producers and the supporting supply chain to do what we can to minimise the impact and cost of the recent withdrawals.

"As a precautionary measure, we support the current guidance of the Queensland State Health Emergency Co-ordination Centre, to chop your strawberries before you chomp."