Sewing needles found in Australian strawberries, farmer 'devastated'

17 September, 2018, 06:35 | Author: Salvatore Jensen
  • 'If in doubt, throw them out': Needles in strawberries prompt warning

There are fresh warnings that more brands of strawberries could be contaminated with sewing needles.

Queensland chief health officer Dr Jeannette Young said the contaminated brands came from a farm in south-east Queensland, and were sold to Woolworths, but could also have been distributed to other stores.

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

Chantal Faugeras said three needles were found in three strawberries when her 10-year-old child tried to eat them.

Queensland Police and Queensland Health held a joint press conference announcing the two affected strawberry brands, Berry Obsession and Berry Licious, have been completely removed from Queensland supermarket shelves.

Detective Superintendent Terry Lawrence said people responsible for contaminating the fruit could be charged with maliciously causing grievous bodily harm.

He said police are "comfortable" that the issue with the "Berry Obsession" and "Berrylicious" brands had now been resolved, having been taken off the market.

She urged anyone uncertain about the safety of their fruit to cut the strawberries in half before eating them.

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

Joshua Gane said that he and his friend Hoani van Dorp had bought a punnet of "Berry Obsession" strawberries from the Woolworths in Strathpine Centre.

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

In a follow-up statement released on Facebook Thursday, the group said the strawberries were seemingly "interfered with between the time they were packed and the time they were purchased".

An ex-employee has since been blamed for planting sewing needles inside the strawberries.

We are working closely with authorities as they investigate this matter.

An investigation is also underway after an employee at a Coles supermarket in Gatton discovered a small metal rod laying across the top of some strawberries inside a plastic punnet on Thursday.

'There is no reason to stop eating strawberries, we just need to be aware of this incident'.

There are other reports out there, but they're still being chased up.

"As with all farmers who produce food for our nation, strawberry growers strive to ensure the quality, security and freshness of their produce and these spiteful incidents have been extremely disheartening and troubling", the association wrote in a statement.

"We're not going to speculate at this stage. We're keeping a very open mind as to where this may have occurred".

On Wednesday, a Queensland woman narrowly avoided feeding contaminated strawberries to her son, posting photos of the fruit online.


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