Published: Mon, September 17, 2018
Money | By Ethel Goodwin

Needle in Strawberry Sends Young Man to Hospital

Needle in Strawberry Sends Young Man to Hospital

It is understood the brands are sold in stores in Queensland, New South Wales, Victoria and the Australian Capital Territory.

Queensland's Chief Health Officer Dr Jeannette Young said anyone who had Berry Licious or Berry Obsession strawberries at home should not use them.

The woman who found the needles took to Facebook to alert others and urge people to check their strawberries or throw them out.

"Driving up the coast when Hoani Hearne bites through a strawberry and swallows half a sewing needle", he wrote.

Last night two further incidents emerged in Victoria, prompting an urgent investigation.

Back in New Zealand, Foodstuff external relations manager Sue Hamilton says ahead of the New Zealand strawberry season kicking off, New World, PaK'n'Save and Four Square stores are stocking some Australian strawberries.

Those strawberries sold after Thursday are said to have been from a later shipment and are safe from the threat.

Customers were also encouraged to cut through any strawberries before they consumed them.

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

Coles said they had been in contact with Ms Faugeras.

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.

Already struggling with low prices, strawberry growers are imploring customers to keep buying their fruit after sewing needles were discovered in punnets.

"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.

The suspected copycat incident, reported at a supermarket in Gatton, involves the discovery of a thin metal object in a punnet of strawberries.

Yesterday, police in Queensland revealed there may even be a copycat contaminator on the loose after a fourth case of an Aussie consumer finding needle fragments in their berries.

It's feared six separate brands of brands of strawberries have been contaminated with needles.

"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".

"They are also contacting the supplier, the police and health and safety", Gane stated.

Chief Superintendent Lawrence said those responsible for contaminating the fruit could be charged with maliciously causing grievous bodily harm, an offence which carries up to 10 years' imprisonment if convicted.

Angela Stevenson warned friends that she had cut open a punnet of Berry Obsession strawberries when she found two needles embedded in the fruit.

The Queensland Strawberry Growers Association said it had reason to suspect that a disgruntled ex-employee may be behind the incident.

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