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

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

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

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

The complaint spurred an investigation from Queensland authorities, after it was revealed the two contaminated brands were sold in stores in NSW, Queensland, Victoria and the ACT.

"To our current knowledge, two labels, Berry Licious and Berry Obsession, are the only affected lines".

The Queensland farmer and owner of the Berrylicious and Berry Obsession brands has seen his company's name splashed all over the national news alongside horror stories of sickening discoveries inside his fruit.

"Any strawberries that you are certain are not the brands Berry Licious and Berry Obsession, are safe", she said. "It makes it hard because you might need to dispose of them earlier, but just cut them up for safety's sake".

Police are cautious to point fingers.

Acting Queensland Chief Superintendent of the State Crime Command Terry Lawrence said the evidence indicates the act was "obviously" meant to injure others.

He wouldn't comment on the QSGA's theory that an angry employee had planted the needles.

"We're not going to get into speculation".

The group added it was waiting on more information from Queensland Police and will update the public as news becomes available.

Burpengary man Hoani Hearne was treated in hospital after eating a strawberry with a needle inside.

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Gane posted the ordeal to Facebook, along with a picture that shows a metal pin poking out of a strawberry.

When Van Dorp bit through the strawberry, he found that he had swallowed half a sewing needle.

The contaminated strawberries come from one farm and police suspect the ground-down needles were deliberately planted, with the culprit intending to cause "grievous bodily harm or other objectives". We are now at the ER because he subsequently started experiencing severe abdominal pain.

Of the four confirmed incidents, two each are in Queensland and Victoria.

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

"Coles takes the safety of the food we sell seriously and we are working with our suppliers, police and state health regulators to investigate", a spokesperson said in a statement.

Queensland Health issued a similar statement.

Queensland's Chief Health Officer Dr Jeannette Young says anyone else who had bought the brands of strawberries without signs of tampering should return them to the store or throw them away.

However, Chief Superintendent Lawrence said the police investigation was ongoing and detectives were examining every part of the supply chain to find the contamination source.

Stores were throwing out strawberries now in stock but fresh produce was expected to be available from yesterday.

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