5 years after the strawberry crisis, a Perth woman has found a needle in her garlic bread.

A woman in Perth reportedly found a 4cm needle in a loaf of garlic bread she purchased from Woolworths.

The woman, identified only as Janelle, told Perth Now her partner cracked his tooth on the needle inside the loaf of La Famiglia garlic bread, which she bought two weeks ago from Woolworths at the Stirling Central shopping centre in the city's north. 

Janelle said she only noticed the needle after the bread was cooked and later reached out to the publication after a lack of action from Woolworths and Goodman Fielder, the manufacturer of La Famiglia garlic bread. 

"Nothing has been done — no recall, no callback, no nothing," she told the publication.

"My partner bit down on this and cracked his tooth, not to mention this could kill someone if they swallowed it."

Image: Perth Now.


Janelle claimed Goodman Fielder offered her a $10 Woolworths voucher as compensation, which she said was "absolutely shocking customer service".

In a statement to, Goodman Fielder said they were treating the incident very seriously but that they were "not aware of any other incidents of this nature". 

Woolworths told the publication they understand the situation "would have been very concerning for the customer" and they would be happy to follow up again with the customer.

"We understand that they have reached out to the supplier directly as this is not a Woolworths product," a spokesperson said. 

The incident comes five years after the nationwide strawberry needle crisis, when reports of punnets of strawberries being contaminated with needles began to emerge in September 2018, leading to a mass recall of the fruit. 

At the time, Queensland man, Hoani Hearne, had to be treated in hospital after eating a strawberry with a needle inside.

"I bit into it, felt it break, my knee-jerk reaction was to swallow, and what was left over was half of a sewing needle," he told the ABC.


The crisis devastated the industry, and saw farmers forced to dump crops and the wholesale price of the fruit half to 50 cents per punnet below the cost of production.

It also sparked calls for tougher penalties around fruit tampering and prompted the Federal Government to launch a $1 million relief package for farmers.

A Queensland woman and farm supervisor at Berrylicious farm in Caboolture, north of Brisbane, was later arrested and accused of putting the needles in the strawberries. 

However, the charges against her were later dropped in 2021 following pre-trial discussions.

Since then, there have been a handful of other reports of contaminated fruit. 

In 2020, South Australian police launched an investigation after needles and thumbtacks were found in a number of items at a Woolworths in Adelaide.

Police said the needles were discovered in an avocado and a punnet of strawberries, while thumbtacks were found in a loaf of bread, in what appeared to be "deliberate acts".

"As a precautionary measure, our store team opened up and inspected other stock in these batches," a Woolworths spokesperson told the ABC. 

"We found no further product safety concerns in these checks."

Feature Image: Perth Now.