Published: Sat, September 15, 2018
Markets | By Otis Pena

Man reportedly eats strawberry with needle inside, police confirm 4 'contamination' incidents

Man reportedly eats strawberry with needle inside, police confirm 4 'contamination' incidents

These brands are sold in Coles, Woolworths and ALDI across Queensland, New South Wales and the Australian Capital Territory.

Among the reports cited by the BBC are a 9-year-old boy who's said to have bit into a strawberry with a needle (he didn't swallow it) and a 21-year-old man who reportedly went to the ER after he ingested half a needle and experienced "severe abdominal pain".

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.

Six brands of strawberries are now believed to be affected by needle and pin contamination according to police, including Donnybrook Berries, Love Berry, Delightful Strawberries, Oasis brands, Berry Obsession and Berry Licious.

"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.

Queensland premier Annastacia Palaszczuk is said to have issued the reward over concerns for growers as well as consumers.

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.

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Young advised residents that all strawberries, regardless of brand, should be cut before they're eaten.

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

The Queensland Strawberry Growers Association said it appears the punnets of strawberries were interfered with between the time they were packed and the time they were purchased.

Police believe it may be the work of a former employee.

Police have urged consumers who have bought an affected punnet to take it to police for forensic examination.

He said retailers had heavily discounted prices, but that was not helping move enough stock.

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