Kiwi wines outselling Australian counterparts in world's biggest market

For the first time New Zealand wines are winning the Tasman battle in the US. Source: 1 NEWS

Needle found in Sydney apple amid strawberry contamination crisis - report

A mother has reportedly found a needle inside an apple she bought from a Woolworths supermarket in Sydney's northwest.

The Seven Network today reported the needle was found in a six-pack of Pink Lady apples purchased from a supermarket at The Ponds.

The Kellyville Ridge mother reportedly found the needle when peeling an apple for her daughters this morning.

"I just thought wow this can't possibly be happening," she told the Seven Network.

"Not in apples. I'd seen the news about the strawberries and I'd been vigilant about cutting those up for the girls but to see this in an apple ..."

A Woolworths spokesman told AAP "we're aware of the customer report and understand police are investigating".

"The details have been referred to the authorities leading the response to this matter and we'll consult with them on next steps," he said in a statement.

New South Wales Police say they are investigating and have called a press conference to discuss the matter.

Needles have been found in strawberries across Australia with New Zealand announcing this week it would pull the Australian-grown fruit from its supermarket shelves.

A health warning to throw out or cut up strawberries remains in NSW, Victoria, Queensland, Tasmania and South Australia.

Cripps Pink apples just in from harvest at an apple orchard
Apples (file picture). Source:

Watch: Aussie grower shares heartbreaking video of strawberry crop being dumped - 'This is no doubt the worst thing to ever happen to my family'

An Australian strawberry grower has posted heartbreaking video of truckloads of her family's strawberries being dumped.

The family of one grower has shared the heartbreak of having to dump truckloads of strawberries. Source: Donnybrook Berries/Facebook

Stephanie Chheang posted the video of her family's crop being dumped as a result of needles being found in punnets across Australia, which has forced a complete recall of product.

It also means growers have nowhere to sell their picked and ready fresh fruit.

"This is no doubt the worst thing to ever happen to my family," Ms Chheang wrote.

"This here is a video of our strawberries being dumped, this here is worth more then you could ever imagine and within 3 days we lost it all.

"My mum, Leena Lee Cufari and my step dad has worked years to build the empire they're sitting on now, they put all their money and effort in to build such a successful business.

"They work hard to make the money for our family and to have these selfish individuals destroy it is just so upsetting.

"My mum works day through to the night, controlling the shed and her 250 employees, making sure her strawberries are packed to perfection.

"This will not stop my family from doing what they do best, if anything they’re going to do better.

"I thank everyone who supports us and all the other farmers who were affected by this horrible issue. We thank you from the bottom of our hearts."

Queensland strawberry farmer installs metal detector

Meanwhile, a Queensland strawberry farmer will install metal detectors to check his produce as the industry deals with the fallout from the discovery of sewing needles in punnets of the fruit.

Glass House Mountains farmer Leonard Smith said the safety measure would cost him about $30,000, but would hopefully get the rest of this season's fruit back on supermarket shelves.

However, he said the detectors wouldn't work if the contamination was occurring offsite.

Mr Smith's farm was forced to burn off 500,000 unsellable plants at the weekend as it was cheaper to destroy them than pick them.

"I need to get them in service in weeks so I can pay some debt off so I don't have to have some uncomfortable conversations," Mr Smith told The Courier-Mail.

He said other growers were being forced to do the same, with others cutting back on staff in the wake of the nationwide strawberry contamination.

One farmer from the Atherton Tablelands says he has had to lay off 15 employees while his business tries to bounce back.

But he says locals in the region are rallying to help farmers by buying fruit at the farm gate.

"Since it started the public support here at the farm is brilliant. They've gone out of their way to come up and actually buy here," he told ABC radio.

Needles have been found in strawberries in all six states, with New Zealand announcing this week it would pull the Australian-grown fruit from its supermarket shelves.

A health warning to throw out or cut up strawberries remains in Queensland, NSW, Victoria and South Australia.

Queensland Strawberry Growers Association vice president Adrian Schultz said "commercial terrorism" was bringing an industry to its knees.

Queensland Police's investigation into the contamination was further complicated when a 62-year-old woman was caught sticking a needle into a banana in a shop in Mackay, in an apparent copycat act.

The woman, who is understood to have mental health issues, was given a warning and referred to appropriate support services.

"The community is reminded that contaminating food is treated as a serious offence and a threat to public safety," a police spokesperson said.

"All reported incidents will be investigated thoroughly."


Kaikoura crayfish caravan makes Lonely Planet's top 10 in ultimate eats - 'nothing better, right?'

Better than pizza in Italy and dim sum in Hong Kong, a crayfish caravan on the Kaikoura coast has beaten some world favourites to make the top 10 in Lonely Planet’s list of 500 ultimate eats from around the world.

Lonely Planet's Chris Zeiher spoke to TVNZ's Breakfast this morning about how Nin’s Bin came in at number seven – the only Kiwi eatery to make it to the top-10.

Mr Zeiher explained how Lonely Planet decided they needed to create a criteria for the listings.

"We decided, first of all, to think about, 'OK, what cultural significance does the dish have to a particular destination? Does it taste any good?' Also, is it a travel-worthy experience and, I mean, being from Lonely Planet, things kind of have to be anchored in travel, and Kaikoura’s named after the dish, so it’s kind of a little bit obvious," he said.

"It's the way [Nin’s Bin] treat their dish – the way they treat the crayfish is absolutely delicious, so they do it with a little bit of butter, some parsley, served like a whale – nothing better, right?"

Mr Zeiher said the list is about travellers' "essential food experiences", using the example of New Zealand and whitebait fritters, which is "is a key one because it's an essential kind of dish".

"The other big one that came up was the Hokitika Wild Food Festival, because that's a great one to sort of showcase the West Coast kind of bizarre type, out there kind of stuff. I think bulls’ testicles are in there as well."

Rather than focusing on fine dining like their Michelin star list, Lonely Planet’s ultimate eats list looks at broader criteria.

"The whole idea here is to kind of go, again, what's culturally significant and what's going to connect you to a destination via that food experience? So eating sushi in Tokyo, for instance, is a very culturally connecting kind of experience."

Mr Zeiher said Lonely Planet also recently released his ratings for New Zealand destinations, with the capital coming out on top.

"We're kind of a bit obsessed with Wellington," he said.

"In 2011, we named it as the world's coolest little capital. We think it's a really compact package. It's kind of got so much going for it in terms of its food scene, very family-friendly, which is a great one, really good for couples, really good for slightly older travellers as well, so it's got that really broad base, which means that it's very attractive to a great, wide demographic which is something that's really cool. It's also got some of the best coffee in the world, in my opinion.

"It's one of those places that we're happy to shout about."

Lonely Planet’s Chris Zeiher spoke to Breakfast about how Kiwi eatery Nin’s Bin made the list. Source: Breakfast

Are Coke poised to produce a cannabis-infused drink?

The Coca-Cola Company says that it's "closely watching" the growth of the use of a non-psychoactive element of cannabis in wellness drinks.

The statement today came after reports that the beverage giant was in talks with a Canadian cannabis company to create a cannabidiol-infused infused beverage.

Coca-Cola and Aurora Cannabis Inc. both declined to confirm the reports by BNN Bloomberg.

Shares of Aurora were up nearly 17 per cent on the Toronto Stock Exchange on the report.

Coca-Cola says it's eyeing the growing market for health drinks infused with cannabidiol -- or CBD -- but has made no decisions.

The beverage giant's interest is another indication of the growing acceptance of cannabis by established companies.

Spirits maker Constellation Brands bought a minority stake in a Canadian marijuana producer last year.

They’ve made the plea face to face with Coke at a conference in Auckland.
Source: 1 NEWS