STRAWBERRY CRISIS: NSW Mum Finds Needles In Punnet Purchased At Local Coles

'If in doubt, throw them out': Needles in strawberries prompt warning

'If in doubt, throw them out': Needles in strawberries prompt warning

Foodstuffs is assuring people that the strawberries stocked on New Zealand shelves is not affected by the Queensland strawberry recall.

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

Queensland man Hoani Hearne wound up in hospital after swallowing part of a needle and developing severe abdominal pain on Sunday.

"It snapped in half, my knee-jerk reaction was to swallow, and I found the other half of the needle in the strawberry", he said.

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

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.

Stores will be throwing out strawberries now in stock but fresh produce will be available tomorrow, Dr Young said. "It makes it hard because you might need to dispose of them earlier, but just cut them up for safety's sake".

Chantal Faugeras posted on Facebook that she purchased the punnet from Wingham Coles on Wednesday, with three needles found inside three strawberries.

The Warmuran farm which supplied the berries under the brand names Berry Obsession and Berry Licious, was inspected by Queensland police and Australian Border Force officers yesterday.

The Queensland Strawberry Growers Association suspects a disgruntled ex-employee may be responsible for placing sewing needles into strawberries sold in Woolworths.

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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.

Inquiries to date indicate the contamination affects two brands of strawberries - "Berry Obsession" and "Berry Licious".

As police searched for a culprit who put sewing needles in strawberries, the state's chief medical officer was forced to update her advice following the discovery of the metal rod at a Coles in Gatton on Thursday morning.

"We are working closely with our local and interstate counterparts as the investigation continues and are committed to keeping the public informed as this progresses".

Authorities said that the contaminated strawberries-branded Berrylicious and Berry Obsession-came from two farms located next to each other in south-east Queensland.

Health officials have urged people purchasing the fruit to be cautious.

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

"Woolworths takes food safety very seriously ..."

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

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