Timaru woman admits needle in strawberry complaint was false

A 28-year-old woman has admitted making a false complaint that she found a needle in a strawberry at a Timaru supermarket. 

Jaydean Temperley, of Timaru made the complaint about a supposed contaminated punnet at Timaru's Pak'nSave in December.

All strawberries at the supermarket were pulled from shelves while police investigated, resulting in a $3565 loss for the supermarket.

She pleaded guilty to the charges of making a false complaint to police and for causing loss by deception in the Timaru District Court on Tuesday morning. 

She has been remanded on bail for sentencing in April.

Foodstuffs New Zealand, which owns Pak'nSave said they are pleased with the outcome of the investigation thus far. 

"Malicious events like these have serious consequences for our customers, suppliers and stores," Foodstuffs Head of External Relations Antoinette Laird says.

"The impact on our business is considerable; from the destruction of perfectly good produce, harm to our reputation and that of our suppliers, to the time wasted dealing with false claims.

"We take our responsibility of care to customers very seriously and follow a thorough process in all these types of instances.  To have to do so needlessly, is frustrating to say the least."

Ms Laird says Foodstuffs is grateful for the ongoing support from Police and MPI.

National MP Nathan Guy, the party's Agriculture spokesperson recently proposed a Private Member's Bill that will create stronger penalties for deliberate food contamination. 


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