Rusty nail found by Whangārei woman inside Countdown chicken

A Whangārei woman was shocked when she found a rusty nail inside a piece of chicken she bought from Countdown.

Nadia Petersen had cooked a chicken thigh under the grill yesterday and only noticed the nail inside when she started eating.

"I picked it up and I held it and stared at it for a couple seconds in disbelief, then I ran outside and spat my food out then washed my mouth out," she said.

"I rung the hospital first who took my details and passed me on to the poisons centre to make sure I wasn’t going to get sick from ingesting chicken with rust in it."

Ms Petersen said her mother had phoned Countdown Regent, who had called her back to offer a refund and 200 One Card points as compensation.

The 200 One Card points can be used to redeem a voucher to the value of $15 - Ms Petersen said that isn't good enough.

"If it were a new nail it wouldn’t have been quite as bad as a heavily rusted one," Ms Petersen said, "and I do feel the compensation should be a little more than what was offered and also an explanation would be nice!"

According to the University of Illinois Physics Department, ingesting rust - iron oxide - is not overly harmful and is benign in small quantities.

A spokesperson for Countdown told 1 NEWS "Food safety is our utmost priority and we take complaints very seriously".

The supermarket confirmed it had been contacted at 7pm yesterday, and said it will now investigate the chicken and the nail.

"We have a really thorough process to ensure we investigate any complaints properly, and our food safety manager is getting in touch with the customer to get hold of the nail and photos so that we can investigate it."

The nail is the latest in a number of recent foreign object scares, with the most prominent of these being needles found in strawberries.

Police launched an inquiry in September when a needle was found inside a strawberry imported from Australia, but police today said they have now exhausted all avenues in trying to find who was responsible.

Whangarei woman Nadia Petersen found a rusty nail inside a piece of chicken she bought from a Countdown supermarket.
Whangarei woman Nadia Petersen found a rusty nail inside a piece of chicken she bought from a Countdown supermarket. Source: Supplied