HALIFAX – A sewing needle has been found in a dish of cooked P.E.I. potatoes, the latest in a string of incidents involving metal objects discovered in Island spuds.
Halifax police Const. Dianne Penfound said they received a report Sunday evening that a sharp object was found in the potatoes after they had been peeled and cooked at a local home.
She said the bag of potatoes was purchased at a Giant Tiger store on Nov. 6 and that the potatoes were from P.E.I., but offered no details on the brand or origin. She added that no one was injured in the incident.
Alison Scarlett, spokeswoman for Giant Tiger, said they have pulled the potatoes from the store’s shelves.
“Giant Tiger Stores Limited has reached out to the Halifax Police Department to get more information on the matter and is currently working directly with our potato vendors,” she said in an email.
She said people who bought potatoes at the store can return them for a refund.
The discovery comes after metal pieces and needles were first discovered in P.E.I. potatoes in 2014, which prompted the federal government in 2015 to pledge $1.5 million to buy metal detection equipment to help find foreign objects in Island potatoes. The provincial government also promised $500,000 for on-site security assessments and training.
At the time, the P.E.I. Potato Board said farms that had been affected by food tampering had incurred losses of more than $1 million.
There have been several cases of metal objects being found in potatoes in Atlantic Canada, with most coming from a farm in P.E.I. Police investigated cases of metal objects found in potatoes sold in grocery stores in Nova Scotia, New Brunswick and Prince Edward Island.
The Island government has said potatoes represent the province’s single largest agriculture commodity in terms of farm cash receipts at about $250 million annually over the past five years.