Published: Mon, September 17, 2018
Markets | By Otis Pena

Strawberry needle scare: Australia probe as 'vicious crime' widens

Strawberry needle scare: Australia probe as 'vicious crime' widens

But a short time later on Monday, a man reported to the York Police Station in regional WA that a needle had been in a punnet of strawberries produced and packaged in the state.

There were no reported injuries, but all remaining stock has been removed from all the supermarket's locations.

New Zealand company Foodstuffs has halted all imports of Australian strawberries after needles were discovered in strawberries sold in Queensland, Victoria and NSW.

Berry Licious, Berry Obsession and Donnybrook branded strawberries, all Queensland brands, remain off the shelves at some supermarkets with Coles pulling all strawberries off their shelves except in Western Australia.

EARLIER: QUEENSLAND Police are investigating an incident where a "metal object" was found inside a banana.

Both Foodstuffs and Countdown - which between them control almost the entire New Zealand grocery market - on Monday announced they had stopped sending out Australian strawberries to their stores.

Numerous lines of fresh strawberries have been pulled from shelves across the country.

One of the needles found in one of the strawberries from interstate
Camera Icon One of the needles found in one of the strawberries from

Jennifer Rowling of the Queensland Strawberry Growers' Association said she believed the strawberries had been "interfered with".

Australia's Federal Health Minister Greg Hunt has ordered Food Standards Australia New Zealand to investigate whether there are supply chain weaknesses or systemic changes needed.

"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", NSW police said in a statement late Friday.

The New Zealand strawberry season would kick off shortly, filling the supply gap, a spokesman said.

"The Department of Health advises that you can still purchase and eat locally grown strawberries but, in light of recent events, you should cut them before eating".

"The member of the public advised he located the needle in his sink after preparing strawberries for his family".

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