Strawberry sabotage: WA not affected by needle contamination

'If in doubt, throw them out': Needles in strawberries prompt warning

Contaminated strawberries, Queensland – update 1 - Queensland Police News

Police launched an investigation on Sunday after a Queensland man reported swallowing a contaminated berry.

"I bit straight in - knee-jerk reaction was to swallow - and yeah it wasn't a pleasant surprise", the 21-year-old told Nine Network.

Acting Detective Chief Superintendent Lawrence said officers were looking into unconfirmed reports of contamination involving other strawberry brands.

Queensland police and Australian Border Force officers inspected the farm at Wamuran, north of Brisbane, on Thursday where the contaminated berries came from as they hunted for the culprit.

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

An update on the investigation was released amid what authorities said was thought to be a "copycat incident" and provided a photo in relation to it.

He urged anyone who found a needle in a strawberry to provide this to police.

Sunshine Coast grower Adrian Schultz said the contamination scare was the last thing the industry needed.

A young boy in Gladstone ended up with a needle in his mouth on Tuesday after taking strawberries to school.

"They suspect it is foul play, but unsure whether it was via the supplier, Woolworths or a customer", Gane said.

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SPIKED: Angela Stevenson found this needle embedded in a strawberry she bought from Woolworths Kirkwood.

Berry Obsession, Berry Licious, Love Berry, Donnybrook Berries, Delightful Strawberries, and Oasis are the brands affected.

Queensland Health and police urged people who bought strawberries sold under the brands Berry Obsession and Berry Licious across the eastern seaboard in the past week to throw them out, after three separate incidents in Queensland and Victoria.

Yesterday, Queensland police announced they were investigating a suspected copycat incident after a metal rod was discovered on top of strawberries inside a plastic punnet at a Coles in Gatton. "We're keeping a very open mind as to where this may have occurred somewhere between the actual growing of the strawberry through to the completion of the production line and going even further through to distribution and going on to the shelves". The strawberry stock should be replaced by Thursday and will be safe to consume.

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

Det. Supt. Lawrence said officers were now identifying past and present employees of the two farms concerned, which involves more than 100 people, with plans to interview them.

"If you are in doubt, just throw them out".

The supermarket withdrew Berry Obsession and Berrylicious branded strawberries from sale and advised consumers to return these products to their local branch for a full refund.

Anyone with information should contact Crimestoppers on 1800 333 000.

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