Strawberry crisis spreads to NSW as boy finds pin in Coles punnet

'If in doubt, throw them out': Needles in strawberries prompt warning

'If in doubt, throw them out': Needles in strawberries prompt warning

Queensland man Hoani Hearne wound up in hospital after swallowing part of a needle and developing severe abdominal pain on Sunday.

In Queensland's Gladstone, a 9-year-old boy bit into a strawberry with a needle in it, but thankfully wasn't pricked.

However, the Donnybrook farm strawberries are sold broadly across the country, in both Coles and Woolworths.

Queensland Police Service, who have launched an investigation into the potentially hazardous findings, revealed that affected brands include "Berry Obsession" and "Berry Licious", according to an update on the agency's Facebook account.

Acting Detective Chief Superintendent Terry Lawrence said identical needles had been found in the Donnybrook punnets and added "another whim" to the investigation.

They are working with retailers to remove all stock from the affected date are removed from sale.

The Stevenson family were shocked to find the strawberries they purchased from Woolworths had been contaiminated with needles.

The association has previously said it believes a disgruntled former farm worker may be responsible, but police say they are investigating all aspects of the strawberry transit process.

"It wasn't five minutes later they rang back and said it was too late, he'd actually bitten into it", she told ABC radio.

Angela Stevenson, a mother of two, bought Berry Obsession strawberries from Woolworths in Gladstone on September 11, ABC reported.


Contaminated strawberries were also found in Yarram and Ballarat, in Victoria, prompting urgent recalls of the two brands in Queensland, NSW and Victoria.

It says the two brands affected, Berry Obsession and Berrylicious, had come from the same farm.

Australians have been warned to cut strawberries before eating them after sewing needles were found in several punnets, triggering the withdrawal of three brands from sale nationwide. "We're keeping a very open mind as to where this may have occurred somewhere between the actual growing of the strawberry through to the completion of the production line and going even further through to distribution and going on to the shelves".

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

"Please be careful and crush them up before eating or just chuck them out".

"They went through the green top and half way thru strawberry so if you ate whole would not know", she said.

The incident follows an earlier plea from strawberry farmers for consumers to buy more strawberries as the market suffered a glut of the fresh fruit, dropping prices to A$1 (NZ$1.50) or less.

Her young son had eaten one of the strawberries at school but it had not been tampered with.

You can report information about crime anonymously to Crime Stoppers, a registered charity and community volunteer organisation, by calling 1800 333 000 or via crimestoppersqld.com.au 24hrs per day.

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