Needles in NZ fruit, veges 'random incidents' - expert

Grower industry groups are keeping a close eye on the latest developments with needle contaminations in food.

Police and the Ministry for Primary Industries (MPI) are investigating after needles were found in a strawberry from a supermarket in Geraldine and in a capsicum from a supermarket in Tauranga.

More than 100 needles were found in fruit across Australia in September, in a large-scale contamination crisis.

In an email to growers, Horticulture New Zealand CEO Mike Chapman said the group is keeping a watching brief on the situation and working with Strawberry Growers New Zealand and Vegetables New Zealand on any information that needs to go to growers.

Meanwhile consumers are being urged not to panic about the needle finds.

Systems expert and Massey University professor Nigel Grigg believes they are isolated incidents.

"The original contamination in Australia was at the growing end, and these seem to be at the interface between the retailer and consumer," he said.

Prof Grigg believes they are random incidents which will have limited impact.