Australia Warns Consumer to Cut Strawberries After Needles Found Inside Some Samples

17 September, 2018, 10:39 | Author: Eric Barnett
  • Empty shelves normally stocked with strawberry punnets are seen at a Coles Supermarket in Brisbane

The incident comes after needles were found in Queensland strawberries.

A 62-year-old woman is assisting Maryborough police with their inquiries into an alleged contamination of a banana within a local supermarket.

The brands involved are Berry Obsession, Berry Licious, Love Berry, Donnybrook Berries, Delightful Strawberries, and Oasis.

"So far, NSW Police Force has received reports of contaminated strawberries purchased at supermarkets at Tweed Heads, Taree, and Wingham", NSW Police said in a statement.

A "metal object" reportedly discovered in a banana in Australia's Queensland state was placed there by someone with a mental health issue, in an incident unrelated to the strawberries recently found embedded with sewing needles, Australian media reported.

The health minister, Greg Hunt, has ordered the national food safety watchdog to assess the state's handling of strawberry contamination.

"As the products have yet to be forensically examined, it is unknown if the contamination is related to the ongoing incident in Queensland or a copycat", Tasmania Police said.


Fears over needles secreted in strawberries have now spilled across the Tasman, with one of New Zealand's two major food distributors taking the fruit off its shelves as a precaution.

It was found in a punnet of Mal's Black Label strawberries - which is based in Gingin, 70km north of Perth.

Queensland Police are leading an investigation into the source of the needles, and the state's Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk has stumped up a reward of $100,000 for anyone with information that leads to the capture of the culprits.

Health officials in Australia are warning citizens to cut up strawberries before eating them after people reported finding needles inside the berries.

Initially three incidents in Queensland had been reported to police on Thursday.

Young advised residents that all strawberries, regardless of brand, should be cut before they're eaten.

There are approximately 150 strawberry growers in Queensland, producing up to 15,000 tonnes of fruit per season - around 60 million punnets of strawberries.

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