Monday, 22 October, 2018

Sydney-bought strawberries contaminated with needles, NSW police confirm

Empty shelves normally stocked with strawberry punnets are seen at a Coles Supermarket in Brisbane Empty shelves normally stocked with strawberry punnets are seen at a Coles Supermarket
Priscilla Morrison | 15 September, 2018, 11:54

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.

'We've got to look at this as a whole, it's a very, very broad picture and we can't speculate in any way, shape or form, ' Queensland Acting Chief Superintendent Terry Lawrence told reporters on Friday.

Queensland Health and the Queensland Police Service released information regarding the latest brand to fall victim to the sabotage on Friday afternoon and said two of the Donnybrook complaints were received on Thursday and another on Friday.

The confirmed cases happened in Queensland and Victoria, police said, adding that the brands are sold at locations in Queensland, New South Wales, Victoria and the Australian Capital Territory.

She said the punnets were both Delightful Strawberries-branded products.

ABC News reported on Saturday that wholesale prices have halved to 50 Australian cents per punnet below the cost of production in Western Australia, where strawberries crops are now peaking, with growers forced to dump tonnes of the fruit.

Woolworths Group has removed all the affected brands from shelves in its supermarkets, but continues to sell other varieties of the fruit.

Police began looking into the potentially unsafe berries after a Facebook user on Saturday wrote that their friend took a bite of a strawberry and ate "half a sewing needle", according to the Palm Beach Post.

More news: Hurricane Florence still poses grave threat despite weaker winds

Police are urging shoppers to cut up strawberries before eating them.

Ms Faugeras notified others of the discovery in a social media post on Thursday.

She said the first needle was discovered when her 10-year-old daughter bit into one of the strawberries and found the hidden item on Wednesday.

A thin metal object, possibly another needle, was found in a punnet in Gatton.

Another said: 'Sent my seven-year-old with this brand of strawberries this morning.

"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.

The item was lying on top of the punnet and had not been inserted into the fruit.

'Queensland Health has warned people should cut up all strawberries before consuming them'.

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