Six berry brands linked to needle sabotage

17 September, 2018, 12:08 | Author: Corey Lynch
  • 'If in doubt, throw them out': Needles in strawberries prompt warning

While the contamination has only impacted two brands, Queensland Chief Health Officer Jeanette Young advised anyone who bought strawberries in Queensland, New South Wales or Victoria since early last week to get rid of them if they were anxious and especially if they were not sure what brand they were.

One man has been taken to hospital for assessment after swallowing a portion of an embedded needle.

"I bit straight in - knee-jerk reaction was to swallow - and yeah it wasn't a pleasant surprise", the 21-year-old told Nine Network.

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

'We will update the Australian public as news becomes available to us'.

"Any strawberries bought from 13 September are safe and any strawberries that you are certain are not the brands Berry Licious and Berry Obsession are safe", Dr Young said. He said other strawberries also had needles inside of them.

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

She said the punnets were both Delightful Strawberries branded products.

NewsRegional has contacted the woman and Coles for further information.

"We have withdrawn Berry Obsession and Berry Licious branded strawberries from sale while this incident is being investigated with our suppliers".




Already struggling with low prices, Queensland strawberry growers are imploring customers to stick by their product after sewing needles were discovered in retail stocks of the fruit.

Police were investigating the possibility of an extortion attempt or someone carrying out a vendetta against the supermarket giant.

"Until advised, consumers should cut up strawberries before consuming them", Queensland state government said in a statement.

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

"I don't know anything, at this stage, I don't know anything, I'm like you guys, I want to find out".

The Queensland Strawberry Growers Association suspects a former staff member is behind the contamination.

Queensland mum Angela Stevenson discovered her strawberries, which she had given to her son for school lunch, were contaminated after cutting into metal.

"Woolworths takes food safety very seriously ..."

"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.

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

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