Woolworths shopper questions ‘poor’ quality control after strange find in spinach

Shopper Luke Loop was relieved he didn't chuck a 'handful' of the spinach into his meal.

Woolworths spinach bag with the leaf in question on top of it, which looks like a eucalyptus leaf with insect eggs on it.
Woolworths' quality control process has been brought into question after an Adelaide shopper made an unusual discovery in a spinach bag. Source: Facebook

A shopper's recent discovery in a spinach bag has brought Woolworths' quality control processes into question after it was feared the contents could have been harmful if ingested.

Luke Loop grabbed the greens during his grocery shop this week and was later adding them to his blender in his Adelaide home when something unusual caught his eye. One leaf was distinctly different from the others, not only due to its shape and colour, but because there were bumps on it.

"It says on the packet 'washed and ready to eat', however I am glad I did not just take a handful and throw it in the blender," he told Yahoo News. On closer inspection, he thinks it was a eucalyptus leaf with insect eggs [or perhaps galls] over it.

"I feel that the quality control is poor... I would not like to [have got] ill from it," he said. Eucalyptus should never be taken orally as it is toxic and can significantly interact with certain medications.

Woolworths confirmed to Yahoo News it spoke with suppliers to investigate the issue further and was told no similar reports were made, believing the issue was an isolated one.

"We take food quality and safety very seriously and are disappointed to see this customer's report," a Woolworths spokesperson told Yahoo News. "If our customers are ever concerned with the quality of our products, we encourage them to contact their local store for a replacement and refund."

Yahoo News understands the product packaging process includes several foreign object control and removal systems, which occur pre-harvest and post-harvest, as well as manual product grading and finished good inspection.

Loop did contact Woolies after making the discovery, flagging the issue with the supermarket via its online virtual assistant to get a refund. Despite being displeased with the discovery, he is relieved no harm was caused.

"I had a laugh with my wife that it does say 'baby leaf' on the pack, and that it could have been 'babies on a leaf'," he said.

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