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Strawberry crisis deepens: Six brands recalled after more needles found

Strawberry crisis deepens: Six brands recalled after more needles found

Consumers in Queensland have been told to return or discard fruit due to the harmful contamination after a customer was rushed to a hospital after swallowing part of a needle in a strawberry.

"I found a needle, bit into it by accident and it snapped in half - or what felt like it snapped in half - and my knee jerk reaction was to swallow", the man told 7 News.

Donnybrook operates three farms on the Sunshine Coast but distributes strawberries throughout Australia, including to Coles.

People in possession of the brands in question should refrain from using them and strawberries from other companies "should be cut up" for safe measure, police said in the update, quoting Queensland's Chief Health Officer Dr. Jeannette Young.

Acting Detective Chief Superintendent Terry Lawrence said this appeared to be a copycat incident, but police would always keep an open mind.

"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".

"I found the other half of the needle in the strawberry".

It is the latest incident in what the Queensland Strawberry Growers Association believes to be the actions of a disgruntled ex-employee.

It's unclear if the Delightful Strawberries brand comes from the same farm or a different region.

The store manager subsequently contacted them and issued a recall, as well as contacting police and health officials.

"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.




"We want everybody to check their strawberries before consuming them ... just cut them up, have a look", Supt Lawrence said.

The initial brands affected by the contamination, Berry Licious and Berry Obsession, have already been removed from sale and are no longer in market.

Australian authorities earlier this week asked people to dispose of strawberries purchased from Woolworths Group if they bore the brand of Berry Licious or Berry Obsession after three punnets were discovered to include fruit embedded with sewing needles.

Meanwhile, a NSW mother revealed her ten-year-old child discovered sabotaged fruit in a case yet unconfirmed by police.

But the bottom line is: If in doubt, throw them out.

"Police will eventually come and collect those strawberries and the potential evidence from you".

Stevenson immediately called her son's school and told them to stop her son from eating the strawberries.

Authorities said on September 13 that they believe that they had mitigated enough risk for customers to buy strawberries again, as all stock had been replaced.

NSW Police warned on Friday that six brands of strawberries may be contaminated by sewing needles.

Anyone with information that could assist the police investigation is asked to contact Crime Stoppers on 1800 333 000.