Six strawberry brands now affected after needle tampering

Supplied  Qld Police The recalled strawberry brands

A Queensland man posted this photo of a strawberry with a needle in it after reporting his friend swallowed one.

"Driving up the coast when Hoani Hearne bites through a strawberry and swallows half a sewing needle", he wrote.

Needles have been found in strawberries sold in Woolworths stores.

Queensland's chief health officer Dr Jeannette Young said strawberries would be back on shelves on Thursday and urged people to throw out any frozen fruit or fruit purchased in the past week.

And a day after going public with the problem, Queensland authorities say a potential copycat incident occurred at a Coles store in Gatton, west of Brisbane.

Queensland Acting Chief Superintendent Terry Lawrence said on September 12 that the police were in contact with the farm operators and Woolworths representatives, and that they believed that the offender contaminated the stock intentionally.

"We're almost at that point of cost of production being greater than what we're selling them for".

Chief Superintendent Lawrence says thankfully no one has been harmed, as all the reports have come from people who have found the pins and needles after cutting the strawberries prior to consumption.

In a statement released by Queensland Strawberry Growers Association on Wednesday, it was confirmed the company had suspicions a certain ex-employee had inserted the needles into the strawberries which were found over the last week.

It's feared six separate brands of brands of strawberries have been contaminated with needles.

"Farmers are really nervous about it, obviously, and devastated something as very bad as this would happen to the industry", Ms Rowling said.

He said police are "comfortable" that the issue with the "Berry Obsession" and "Berrylicious" brands had now been resolved, having been taken off the market.

"Strawberries are a great fruit, and people should continue to buy them, but everyone should simply cut them up".

"Until advised, consumers should cut up strawberries before consuming them", Queensland Health later said in a statement posted on Twitter.

The Queensland Strawberry Growers Association suspects a disgruntled ex-employee may be responsible for placing sewing needles into strawberries sold in Woolworths.

"We have withdrawn Berry Obsession and Berry Licious branded strawberries from sale while this incident is being investigated with our suppliers".

Investigators said there are four contamination incidents, two each in Queensland and Victoria.

"I said I need you to stop him from eating the strawberries". She said that people can "chop them in half" if they remained concerned about the presence of needles.

'If you are in doubt, just throw them out'.

You can report information about crime anonymously to Crime Stoppers, a registered charity and community volunteer organisation, by calling 1800 333 000 or via 24hrs per day.



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