Published: Sun, September 16, 2018
Economy | By

Even More Strawberry Brands May Have Been Contaminated With Needles

Even More Strawberry Brands May Have Been Contaminated With Needles

"It is now believed the contamination may affect six brands of strawberries - "Berry Obsession", "Berry Licious", "Love Berry", "Donnybrook Berries", "Delightful Strawberries", and "Oasis", police said on Friday".

The Queensland Police Service said it was investigating the contamination relating to sewing needles inserted in strawberries.

"We are now working with retailers nationwide to ensure that all Donnybrook stock is removed from sale", Dr Young said.

It comes after NSW police confirmed they had received community reports of contaminated strawberries in state stores.

"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.

Jennifer Rowling of the Queensland Strawberry Growers' Association said she believed the strawberries had been "interfered with".

"It does appear to be an isolated incident so's the perception that people have that's the concern".

The Berry Licious and Berry Obsession brands have been removed from shelves across Queensland, New South Wales, Victoria and the Australian Capital Territory.

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.

Queensland chief health officer Jeannette Young said given the additional cases she was now advising shoppers to cut up strawberries before consuming them.

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

The incident, reported at a supermarket in Gatton, involves the discovery of a thin metal object in a punnet of strawberries.

Ms Faugeras said she found a further two needles inside the punnet she had bought from Coles in Wingham after she chose to squash the others as a precaution.

Police have been unable to confirm whether the contaminated products are linked to the original contamination in Queensland or a copycat, however they are urging anyone who has purchased contaminated products to take the punnet to their local police station immediately for forensic testing.

Then she instantly realised that she had sent strawberries from the same punnet to school in her older son's packed lunch.

Police from both Queensland and Victoria are now investigating across three states to find the people responsible, the ABC reported.

"As with all farmers who produce food for our nation, strawberry growers strive to ensure the quality, security and freshness of their produce and these spiteful incidents have been extremely disheartening and troubling", the association wrote in a statement. "We're keeping a very open mind as to where this may have occurred".

On Wednesday, a Queensland woman narrowly avoided feeding contaminated strawberries to her son, posting photos of the fruit online.

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