Australian officials warn of needle danger for 6 strawberry brands

Gladys Abbott
September 16, 2018

"The contamination relates to what appears to be needles inserted in strawberries".

The confirmed cases happened in Queensland and Victoria, police said, adding that the brands are sold at locations in Queensland, New South Wales, Victoria and the Australian Capital Territory.

Australian authorities are warning its citizens against eating certain brands of strawberries after some have been found to contain hidden sewing needles inside.

A Coles customer found pins sticking from the sabotaged fruit after purchasing the punnet from a supermarket in Engadine in Sydney's south on Friday.

A $100,000 reward has been offered for information on the Queensland strawberry saboteur amid fears six brands across four states have been targeted with needle insertion.

Queensland Health said in a Thursday tweet that "consumers should cut up strawberries before consuming them", even if they're not from one of the six named makers. "It is simply unacceptable".

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The needle scare started with the Berry Obsession, Berry Licious and Donnybrook brands, but has since expanded to include three more brands - Love Berry, Delightful Strawberries and Oasis.

"Whereas we would normally be selling 30 tonnes a day of locally grown strawberries to WA markets, it has dropped to 20 tonnes".

"Strawberries are a great fruit, and people should continue to buy them, but everyone should simply cut them up".

The Queensland Strawberry Growers Association said it's likely the affected strawberries were tampered with between the time they were packed and the time they were bought.

"We are looking at points of the chain from growth all the way to distribution into the stores, we're keeping a very open mind", he said.

The Queensland premier, Annastacia Palaszczuk, has issued the reward over concerns for growers as well as consumers.

Other reports by LeisureTravelAid

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