Schoolgirls lip speared by needle 'found' in her apple from Woolworths

"I had to spit it out"

February 12 2020

A 14-year-old Melbourne girl is recovering after swallowing what she believes was part of a needle hidden in a bag of apples from Woolworths.

Werribee schoolgirl Shelby Pewhairangi was halfway through her lunchtime snack on Tuesday when she felt a sudden stabbing pain.



Her friend noticed something unexpected – a needle hanging from her lip.

“She said, ‘Get it out of your mouth!’ so I had to spit it out,” Shelby told 7NEWS.

Shelby says the needle was broken and is now in hospital waiting for the other end, feared swallowed, to pass through her body.

The 14-year-old is undergoing x-rays in a bid to locate the missing half.



“I slept in the room next to her last night because I was really nervous,” Shelby’s mother Seimone said.

“The doctor told us the 24 hours after the accident were crucial.”

Woolworths investigating

After the incident, Shelby’s mother took the needle’s remnants to the Hoppers Crossing Woolworths, where the apple was purchased.

The supermarket giant says it is investigating.

“We’ve seen the customer’s report and we’re looking into the matter in line with established procedures,” a Woolworths spokesperson said.

“We stand ready to assist authorities in any way we can.



“While this appears to be an isolated case, we’ve conducted precautionary checks on our stock in the store and found no issues.”

More than 180 cases of needles in fruit have been reported nationally since September 2018, prompting the federal government to increase its maximum penalty for food contamination to 15 years.

Originally published on 7News.