Strawberry sabotage: WA not affected by needle contamination


"We'd just really love for consumers to see what it is and hopefully it doesn't affect the consumption of strawberries too much".

The strawberries were bought in Tweed Heads in NSW and Queensland's Redbank Plains and Everton Park, but it is unclear which of the farms sent the strawberries.

Donnybrook operates three farms on the Sunshine Coast but distributes strawberries throughout Australia, including to Coles.

Contaminated punnets have been reported in supermarkets in the states of New South Wales, Queensland and Victoria.

Queensland chief health officer Dr Jeannette Young said that following today's potential "copycat" incident, people should be "ultra cautious" and cut up any strawberries before consuming them.

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

A recall was issued yesterday for Berry Obsession and Berry Licious strawberries, two brands sold at Woolworths.

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.

NSW Police have added to Queensland Police's warning over the sabotaged fruit.

"I found the other half of the needle in the strawberry".

In the post Ms Faugeras says her 10-year-old discovered a pin embedded in a strawberry while eating a punnet they had bought from the Coles at Wingham.

"This one, we found 3 pins inside 3 strawberries".

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

Cases have been reported in Qld, NSW and Victoria.

She said the punnets were both Delightful Strawberries branded products.

"Farmers are really nervous about it, obviously, and devastated something as terrible as this would happen to the industry", Ms Rowling said.

"Woolworths takes food safety very seriously and we are looking into these claims with our supplier", it said in a statement.

Anyone with concerns can phone 13 HEALTH for advice or speak to their GP.

It was the first time needles have been discovered in strawberries in NSW after four contaminated punnets were discovered in Queensland and NSW in recent days.

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

"As the products have yet to be forensically examined, it is unknown if the contamination is related to the original Queensland incident or a copycat".

Rowling said reports from people associated with the farm and Queensland Police had indicated a disgruntled former employee might have put the needles in the fruit, but the association was waiting for the police to complete their investigation.

A Woolworths spokesman said the brand had been "temporarily withdrawn".