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Updated 22 January 2021

New World replacing “speckled” knives

Black spots on promotional Smeg knives.

Some New World customers who have picked up Smeg knives in the store’s latest promotion may find black spots on the blades.

The supermarket said it will replace the blemished knives if customers return them to the store. Whether you’ll get your replacement on the spot is another story, with the promotion coming to an end this week and the knives becoming harder to find.

Since November, New World customers have been able to collect a sticker with every $20 spent. Stickers can be put towards a Smeg knife. There are six knives “made from premium German steel” and a knife block to collect. The promotion ends on 24 January.

More than a million knives have been redeemed. New World confirmed about one percent of the knives it ordered – more than 10,000 – had spots on the blade due to overheating during manufacturing.

“We were made aware of a small number of Smeg knives having small black speckles around the etched logo on the blade,” Antoinette Laird, head of corporate affairs at Foodstuffs, said.

Laird said the black spots didn’t pose a risk to consumers and would not affect the quality of the knife.

Supermarkets would replace the knives if they had one the same available, she said. “We believe most customers who had an issue have already exchanged their knives.”

Stores removed the spotty knives from distribution when the supermarket became aware of the problem. Foodstuffs couldn’t tell us how many had already been given out to customers.

Giveaways are covered under the Consumer Guarantees Act, which says goods need to be of acceptable quality, including being acceptable in appearance and finish, and free from minor defects.

If you’ve ended up with a blemished blade, you’re entitled to a replacement. If the store can’t provide one, you should get a refund of any part-payment you made (the promotion let customers collect knives with a mix of stickers and cash).

We think it’s also reasonable to expect compensation so you can purchase a knife with similar cutting-edge quality.

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