Australians warned to cut strawberries after sewing needles found in fruit

Supplied  Qld Police The recalled strawberry brands

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.

Queensland's Chief Health Officer Dr Jeannette Young says anyone else who had bought the brands of strawberries without signs of tampering should return them to the store or throw them away.

Queensland Police Service, who have launched an investigation into the potentially hazardous findings, revealed that affected brands include "Berry Obsession" and "Berry Licious", according to an update on the agency's Facebook account.

We are working closely with authorities as they investigate this matter.

Investigations into a potential copy-cat incident is taking place after a silver rod was found in a strawberry punnet purchased at Gatton today.

Sunshine Coast grower Adrian Schultz said the contamination scare was the last thing the industry needed.

"At this time, (we) have reason to suspect that a disgruntled ex-employee may have orchestrated the occurrence, wherein sewing needles were found in a number of strawberries", the association's Jennifer Rowling said.

Where have people found needles in their strawberries?

"It wasn't five minutes later they rang back and said it was too late, he'd actually bitten into it", she told ABC radio.

Strawberries from Berry Obsession and Berry Licious have been contaminated with sewing needles.

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"We have not been notified of any cases of contaminated strawberries in South Australia; however, if people have Donnybrook strawberries at home or are unsure of the brand, they should be returned to the place of purchase, or discarded".

Already struggling with low prices, Queensland strawberry growers are imploring customers to stick by their product after sewing needles were discovered in retail stocks of the fruit.

The health concerns over needles and pins found inside Australian strawberries are continuing to escalate with NSW police now warning up to six brands may have been affected. "We're keeping a very open mind as to where this may have occurred".

But the bottom line is: If in doubt, throw them out.

Chief Superintendent Lawrence said those responsible for contaminating the fruit could be charged with maliciously causing grievous bodily harm, an offence which carries up to 10 years' imprisonment if convicted.

On Friday, Queensland Health announced strawberries from Donnybrook farms, north of Brisbane, were being pulled from supermarket shelves after three incidents - two on Thursday, and one on Friday.

"I said I need you to stop him from eating the strawberries".

"Until advised, consumers should cut up strawberries before consuming them", Queensland state government said in a statement.

Those strawberries sold after Thursday are said to have been from a later shipment and are safe from the threat.

Anyone with information has been urged to contact Crime Stoppers on 1800 333 000.

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