Sewing needles found in Australian strawberries, farmer 'devastated'

Australia strawberry scare NZ stock not affected

While the brands behind the initial incident were taken from shelves, authorities said the affected punnets would have expired, but people should check their fridges and freezers for stored strawberries and dispose of them.

As a precaution, Queensland Health's chief health officer, Jeanette Young, advised people in the states of Queensland, Victoria, and NSW on September 12 to throw out their strawberries that were bought early last week, the Herald Sun reported.

A Queensland man posted this photo of a strawberry with a needle in it after reporting his friend swallowed one.

"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.

'We will update the Australian public as news becomes available to us'. "They went through the green top and half way thru strawberry so if you ate whole would not know", she said.

Dr Young said she was particularly anxious about those who may have frozen the strawberries for use later and may not still have the packaging.

Coles said they had been in contact with Ms Faugeras.

"Queensland Health has found that another brand of strawberries, Donnybrook strawberries, is associated with the contamination".

"At this time, (we) have reason to suspect that a disgruntled ex-employee may have orchestrated the occurrence, wherein sewing needles were found in a number of strawberries, in Queensland and Victoria", a statement from the association said.

It came as a NSW mother said she found more sabotaged strawberries, in the first instance for that state following the recent scares in Queensland.

The Queensland Strawberry Growers Association believes a former employee at the supermarket chain Woolworths put needles inside the fruit, according to reports.

Queensland Health issued advice applicable to all strawberries, saying the fruit is safe to purchase but until advised, consumers should cut them up before consumption.

"Victoria Police is urging the community to check their strawberries after what appears to be sewing needles were located in two punnets in Yarram and Sebastopol", says a statement released by the Victoria Police.

Queensland chief health officer Jeannette Young said given the additional cases she was now advising shoppers to cut up strawberries before consuming them.

Queensland Police Service investigations are continuing.

Only weeks ago, some supermarkets dropped the price of strawberries as low as $1 per punnet to help suppliers move tonnes of excess produce.

Queensland Strawberry Growers industry development officer Jennifer Rowling told Fairfax on Wednesday the industry was reeling this week.

Police said an employee bought a punnet of strawberries at Coles and found a silver rod inside.

"[Woolworths] takes food safety very seriously", a spokesperson for Woolworths said.

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