Food contamination case in Adelaide's west

Emily CosenzaAAP
Commissioner Grant Stevens says the food contamination incidents in SA are 'incredibly malicious'.
Camera IconCommissioner Grant Stevens says the food contamination incidents in SA are 'incredibly malicious'.

South Australia police say they will "come down hard" on people contaminating food after the latest case, when a needle was found in a mandarin, in Adelaide's western suburbs.

A local resident purchased the fruit from a Woolworths in Findon on Tuesday.

Police were contacted and the remaining stock was checked.

Commissioner Grant Stevens said police were doing everything they could to identify culprits.

"These acts are incredibly malicious (and) I'm absolutely amazed this can re-emerge at a time like this where businesses are finding it really challenging to stay afloat." Commissioner Stevens said on ABC Radio.

"I'd certainly be encouraging our bail authorities that if this person presents such a risk that they will be remanded in custody."

Earlier on Tuesday, there were reports of a thumbtack being found in strawberries purchased from the Goolwa Foodland, south of Adelaide.

That followed the discovery of needles in strawberries and an avocado, and thumbtacks in a loaf of bread, at a Woolworths outlet in Adelaide's northeast between June 27 and July 1.

The commissioner said there were fears copycats may be responsible for new cases of food contamination and a dedicated team had been established to investigate the incidents.

"We don't want to see this become a trend," he said on Tuesday.

"The potential for copycat is significant and the impact on industry is significant."

The Commissioner also warned that if there "was information about people making false reports ... we will be coming down hard on those people as well".

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