Monday, 10 December, 2018

Six strawberry brands now affected after needle tampering

STRAWBERRY CRISIS NSW Mum Finds Needles In Punnet Purchased At Local Coles 'If in doubt, throw them out': Needles in strawberries prompt warning
Jodi Jackson | 17 September, 2018, 12:09

"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.

It is understood that both punnets were Delightful Strawberries brand.

"We're almost at that point of cost of production being greater than what we're selling them for".

"We're not agreeing with that at all at this particular point in time", Queensland Acting Chief Superintendent Terry Lawrence said.

"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.

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

Gane made the Facebook post while they were at the ER at 12:52 p.m. local time.

NewsRegional has contacted the woman and Coles for further information.

Authorities in Australia on Thursday said they had four confirmed incidents of "contaminated strawberries" after an individual reportedly discovered a needle inside a berry after taking a bite.

A disgruntled former worker in Australia has been accused of purposely putting sewing needles in strawberries, according to police.

"Queensland Police Service is leading the investigation, with Victoria Police's Fraud and Extortion Squad detectives assisting".

It's not known if all the finds are from the original Queensland incident, because not all of them have been forensically examined.

Police began looking into the potentially unsafe berries after a Facebook user on Saturday wrote that their friend took a bite of a strawberry and ate "half a sewing needle", according to the Palm Beach Post.

The Berry Licious and Berry Obsession brands have been removed from shelves across Queensland, New South Wales, Victoria and the Australian Capital Territory.

The major scare has not only damaged his farm's reputation, but also the entire strawberry industry which is suffering because of low prices.

The strawberries believed to have contained the needle that injured Hoani Hearne was reportedly sold at a supermarket in Brisbane.

The incident was reported to authorities on Thursday, but the strawberry punnet targeted was a different brand to other confirmed discoveries.

A mother of three in Gladstone also found two needles in a punnet while cutting up the fruit.

It's suspected the incident is a copycat attempt.

"Definitely those two are the only brands of concern but if people don't know, and they want to be ultra cautious, then it would be best if they just throw out any strawberries", Dr Young said.

"We could be finished by the weekend", he said.

They are sold at Woolworths and possibly other outlets.

"Police are urging the community to check their strawberries after what appears to be sewing needles were located in two punnets in Yarram and Sebastopol", says a statement released by Queensland Police yesterday.

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