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

Posted September 17, 2018

'At this time, the Queensland Strawberry Growers Association 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, ' the statement read. "We're keeping a very open mind as to where this may have occurred".

Rowling said reports from people associated with the farm and Queensland Police had indicated a disgruntled former employee might have put the needles in the fruit, but the association was waiting for the police to complete their investigation.

The 21 year old was taken into hospital with "severe abdominal pain" after swallowing half a needle inside a strawberry on Sunday.

'Real talk. Why would you risk it if it could have been tampered with in ways which are more than just needles, especially considering that you could simply return them in exchange for a fresh punnet?' said another.

So far, NSW Police has received reports of contaminated strawberries purchased at supermarkets at Tweed Heads, Taree, and Wingham.

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

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"We're not agreeing with that at all at this particular point in time", Queensland Acting Chief Superintendent Terry Lawrence said.

Police are now interviewing what could end up being around 100 staff from the two affected farms, the ABC reported. Authorities are saying that this is a copycat case.

The Warmuran farm which supplied the berries under the brand names Berry Obsession and Berry Licious, was inspected by Queensland police and Australian Border Force officers yesterday.

On Wednesday, a Queensland woman narrowly avoided feeding contaminated strawberries to her son, posting photos of the fruit online.

"He obviously bit into it, felt it, pulled it out and told the teacher "there was a needle in my fruit" and everyone was sort of gobsmacked as to why?"

Stevenson immediately called her son's school and told them to stop her son from eating the strawberries.

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An ex-employee has since been blamed for planting sewing needles inside the strawberries.

"But at this stage, please cut them up and just look to make sure they haven't been contaminated", Dr Young said.

However, on Friday, NSW Police added that the contamination might have affected four more brands: Love Berry, Donnybrook Berries, Delightful Strawberries and Oasis.

On Thursday, 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 Coles in Gatton.

Commenters on the photo discussed whether they would take the risk of buying the strawberries in the current situation.

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