Police have confirmed a fourth case of strawberry contamination in NSW after a Coles customer found pins in three pieces of fruit from a Coles supermarket in Engadine in Sydney's South.
The needle scare started with the Berry Obsession, Berry Licious and Donnybrook brands, but has since expanded to include three more brands - Love Berry, Delightful Strawberries and Oasis.
Health officials in Australia are warning citizens to cut up strawberries before eating them after people reported finding needles inside the berries.
"As the products have yet to be forensically examined, it is unknown if the contamination is related to the original Queensland incident or a copycat".
Officials said it is still safe to buy strawberries but consumers should cut them up before eating them.
The association said it could be a disgruntled former farmer who's putting the needles in the strawberries.
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Officers from the Sutherland Police Area Command were notified on Friday about the unsafe punnet of Delightful Strawberries, and seized it for their inquiries into what appears to be sabotage with a nationwide range. "Regretfully, preventing random acts of extremism, sabotage and simple maliciousness from people with a grudge appears to be an increasing challenge across our society".
"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 said.
He said retailers had heavily discounted prices, but that was not helping move enough stock.
Police are also investigating a copycat saboteur after a Coles employee at a Gatton store, about 90 kilometres west of Brisbane, found a "small silver rod" on top of strawberries in a punnet.
Police have urged consumers who have bought an affected punnet to take it to police for forensic examination.
It is believed the consumer had purchased the brand "Delightful" but returned it after a pin was found sticking out of the fruit, the Daily Telegraph reported.