Australians told to chop strawberries as police investigate needles found in fruit

Australians told to chop strawberries as police investigate needles found in fruit

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

"These brands are believed to be sold in stores in New South Wales, Queensland, Victoria, and the Australian Capital Territory", the statement said.

Police asked anyone who finds a needle in their strawberries to take the punnet their local station.

It is the first time needles have been discovered in strawberries in NSW after four contaminated punnets were discovered in Queensland and Victoria in recent days.

Punnets supplied by three brands have been recalled from supermarket shelves although New South Wales Police said they believed a further three brands may be affected.

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

Officials said it is still safe to buy strawberries but consumers should cut them up before eating them.

Mr Michael said the scare could not have come at a worse time, as WA was coming into peak production season, yet consumers were avoiding the fruit as a knee-jerk reaction to the contamination.

"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 said. "It is a very, very broad picture and we can't speculate in any way, shape or form", said Terry Lawrence, Queensland acting chief superintendent.

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

"Someone is trying to sabotage the industry but also in doing that, they are putting babies' and children's and families' lives at risk", Queensland premier Annastacia Palaszczuk said at a press conference, where she confirmed the reward.

Health officials have urged people purchasing the fruit to be cautious.

The product is now set to under-go forensic testing at the local police station and authorities work with the supermarket.