Sewing needles found in strawberries in Australia


It is understood the brands are sold in stores in Queensland, New South Wales, Victoria and the Australian Capital Territory.

One man was taken to hospital after eating a strawberry with a needle inside.

So far four contaminated punnets have been found - two in Queensland and two in Victoria.

Queensland Acting Chief Superintendent Terry Lawrence says its a complex operation, because the industry provides more than 250,000 punnets of strawberries in Queensland alone in a five-day period.

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.

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".

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

"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.

'Any strawberries that you are certain are not the brands Berry Licious and Berry Obsession, are safe, ' she confirmed.

Australians have been warned to cut fresh strawberries before biting into them after several people found sewing needles hidden inside the fruit.

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"I don't know, because the problem is there's so many people handling the fruit all the time, and packing, so I can not say where it happened", he told a Channel 9 reporter.

The first reported cases of contaminated strawberries were sold at Woolworths supermarkets in Queensland, NSW, and Victoria.

Yesterday, police in Queensland revealed there may even be a copycat contaminator on the loose after a fourth case of an Aussie consumer finding needle fragments in their berries.

"For other brands, our advice is all strawberries should be cut up before they are eaten", Dr Young said.

The supplier, police and health and safety officials have also been contacted.

"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.

A nine-year old boy bit into a contaminated fruit but did not swallow.

"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.

On Wednesday, Queensland police announced they were investigating a suspected copycat incident after a metal rod was discovered on top of strawberries inside a plastic punnet at a Coles store in Gatton.