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Strawberry needle scare: Contamination affects six brands in Australia

17 September, 2018, 12:11 | Author: Sara Gill
  • 'If in doubt, throw them out': Needles in strawberries prompt warning

In breaking news, the first reported instance of needles being found inside strawberry punnets in NSW has been reported.

The 21 year old was taken into hospital with "severe abdominal pain" after swallowing half a needle inside a strawberry on Sunday.

So far, NSW Police has received reports of contaminated strawberries purchased at supermarkets at Tweed Heads, Taree, and Wingham.

Queensland acting Chief Superintendent, Terry Lawrence, from the State Crime Command, said police believed the contamination was deliberate and was aimed at hurting someone.

"We would hope the public can see this for what it is, as an isolated incident. this because strawberries are safe to eat", said Jennifer Rowling, industry development officer at Strawberries Australia, which represents growers.

Authorities said on September 13 that they believe that they had mitigated enough risk for customers to buy strawberries again, as all stock had been replaced.

The frantic mum called the school to ask them to throw the fruit away.

NSW mother Chantal Faugeras posted to Facebook images of strawberries she says she bought from a Coles supermarket on the NSW mid-north coast on Tuesday.

She said the punnets were both Delightful Strawberries branded product.

"It wasn't five minutes later they rang back and said it was too late, he'd actually bitten into it", she told 9 News.

These include Donnybrook strawberries and those sold by the Woolworths Group under the Berry Obsession and Berry Licious names.


PEOPLE across Queensland are being urged to cut up their strawberries before eating them as investigations continue into how needles came to be inserted into strawberries sold across multiple states.

She said that people can "chop them in half" if they remained concerned about the presence of needles.

The needle found in one strawberry last weekend.

Queensland's Chief Health Officer Dr Jeanette Young has requested retailers withdraw all Donnybrook strawberries through a trade level recall.

Angela Stevenson warned friends that she had cut open a punnet of Berry Obsession strawberries when she found two needles embedded in the fruit.

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

"The idea of an ex-employee was put forward by the Strawberry Growers Association".

One woman wrote on the post: "Sent my 7 year old to school with this brand strawberries this morning".

"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, in Queensland and Victoria", a statement from the association said.

Woolworths said it takes food safety very seriously and is working closely with authorities as they investigate.

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