Published: Sat, September 15, 2018
Economy | By

Australia Warns Consumer to Cut Strawberries After Needles Found Inside Some Samples

Australia Warns Consumer to Cut Strawberries After Needles Found Inside Some Samples

The BBC and ABC Australia report that sewing needles have been found embedded in strawberries, from six different brands, that came out of supermarkets in Queensland, New South Wales, and Victoria, per NSW police.

New South Wales Police have confirmed the first case of strawberries contaminated with needles bought from a Sydney supermarket.

Empty shelves, normally stocked with strawberry punnets, are seen at a Coles in Brisbane on Friday.

It is now believed the contamination may affect six brands of strawberries: "Berry Obsession", "Berry Licious", "Love Berry", "Donnybrook Berries", "Delightful Strawberries", and "Oasis". "Please be careful and crush them up before eating or just chuck them out".

Other cases of strawberry contamination have so far been identified in NSW in Tweed Heads, Taree and Wingham, as well as in Queensland in the suburbs of Everton Park and the Redbank plains.

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

"Coles takes the safety of the food we sell seriously and we are working with our suppliers, police and state health regulators to investigate", a spokesperson said in a statement.


"If you have Donnybrook strawberries at home, or are unsure of the brand, you should return them to the store or throw them away", Young said.

The Warmuran farm that supplied the berries was inspected by Queensland Police and Australian Border Force officers yesterday.

In a follow-up statement released on Facebook Thursday, the group said the strawberries were seemingly "interfered with between the time they were packed and the time they were purchased". "Regretfully, preventing random acts of extremism, sabotage and simple maliciousness from people with a grudge appears to be an increasing challenge across our society".

On Thursday, the Queensland Strawberry Growers Association said it had "reason to suspect" a former employee was responsible but police are still investigating.

'We've got to look at this as a whole, it's a very, very broad picture and we can't speculate in any way, shape or form, ' Queensland Acting Chief Superintendent Terry Lawrence told reporters on Friday.

The customer handed the punnet in to Sutherland Area Police Command, where it will undergo forensic testing.

Health officials have urged people purchasing the fruit to be cautious.

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