'Disgruntled Employee' Accused of Putting Sewing Needles in Strawberries: Cops

Australia strawberry scare NZ stock not affected

Australia strawberry scare NZ stock not affected

Berry Obsession, Berry Licious, Love Berry, Donnybrook Berries, Delightful Strawberries, and Oasis are the brands affected.

Queensland chief health officer Jeanette Young has also given a fresh warning - advising anyone who bought Berrylicious and Berry Obsession strawberries in Queensland, NSW or Victoria early last week to cut them in half before eating them.

A Queensland man posted on Facebook that his friend had swallowed half a sewing needle after eating a strawberry from Woolworths on September 9.

Her nine-year-old son had also taken strawberries to school, but by the time she contacted the school to raise the alarm, he'd already bitten into the strawberry and discovered the needle.

Investigations are underway after another strawberry contamination case has been reported in Townsville, in north Queensland.

Acting Queensland Chief Superintendent of the State Crime Command Terry Lawrence said the evidence indicates the act was "obviously" meant to injure others.

"We're fairly confident if people do come forward with a needle in a strawberry, particularly with the packaging, that will provide us with some information", he said.

He urged anyone who found a needle in a strawberry to call police on 131 444, particularly if they still had the packaging.

Det. Supt. Lawrence said officers were now identifying past and present employees of the two farms concerned, which involves more than 100 people, with plans to interview them.

"A lot of the social media that we're seeing, people are being very supportive and really - hopefully - understand that this is an isolated incident", Rowling said.

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Three punnets of Donnybrook strawberries containing sewing needles were found at Redbank Plains, Tweed Heads and Everton Park.

However, Chief Superintendent Lawrence said the police investigation was ongoing and detectives were examining every part of the supply chain to find the contamination source.

Driving with a friend, Haoni van Dorp, the two purchased a punnet of strawberries on Sunday afternoon.

A thin metal object, possibly another needle, was found in a punnet in Gatton.

"Until advised, consumers should cut up strawberries before consuming them", Queensland Health later said in a statement posted on Twitter.

The growers association released a statement acknowledging the reports.

Meanwhile, a NSW mother revealed her ten-year-old child discovered sabotaged fruit in a case yet unconfirmed by police.

The Queensland Strawberry Growers Association believes a disgruntled farm worker may be responsible but police say they are investigating all aspects of the strawberry transit process.

A Coles spokesperson told Starts at 60: "Coles takes the safety of the food we sell seriously and we are working with our suppliers, police and state health regulators to investigate".

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