Australians told to chop strawberries as police investigate needles found in fruit

The Australian state of Queensland on Saturday (Sept 15) offered a A$100,000 (S$98,450) reward for information leading to the arrest of those responsible for sabotaging strawberries with sewing needles.

Queensland premier Annastacia Palaszczuk is said to have issued the reward over concerns for growers as well as consumers.

NSW Police said in a statement late Friday that it is unknown if the contamination is related to the original Queensland incident or a copycat as the products have yet to be forensically examined.

Young advised residents that all strawberries, regardless of brand, should be cut before they're eaten.

The Donnybrook supplier owns three farms in south-east Queensland and supplies to both Coles and Woolworths.

New South Wales Police have confirmed the first case of strawberries contaminated with needles bought from a Sydney supermarket. Queensland Health said in a Thursday tweet that "consumers should cut up strawberries before consuming them", even if they're not from one of the six named makers.

"We found 3 pins inside 3 strawberries", Faugeras wrote.

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The association said it could be a disgruntled former farmer who's putting the needles in the strawberries.

Investigators plan to do forensic testing on the needles and say they're particularly focused on how the fruits were transported.

A police spokesman said that in this instance, there were no injuries as a result of the contamination.

"The safety of our customers is our priority and anyone concerned about their health should seek medical advice".

"The contamination relates to what appears to be needles inserted in strawberries".

New South Wales Police said the number of reported incidents has been increasing, with six brands believed to have been targeted: Berry Obsession, Berry Licious, Love Berry, Donnybrook Berries, Delightful Strawberries and Oasis.

It is believed the consumer had purchased the brand "Delightful" but returned it after a pin was found sticking out of the fruit, the Daily Telegraph reported.

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