Warning over needles in strawberries

Roman Schwartz
September 16, 2018

Queensland Police told national broadcaster ABC the contamination of the strawberries - usually sold in small plastic boxes called punnets - was done "obviously to injure somebody".

Initially three incidents in Queensland had been reported to police on Thursday.

The product is now set to under-go forensic testing at the local police station and authorities work with the supermarket. Three brands-Donnybrook Berries, Berry Licious, and Berry Obsession-have been taken off the shelves completely.

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

One Australian woman posted photos online showing the needles inside strawberries her 10-year-old son was eating.

Coles and Aldi have pulled all brands of strawberries from their shelves in NSW since the latest contaminated punnet.

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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. "If you stop picking them for a few days then they stop producing fruit, so we're trying to weather out this storm and hope that things get better, but to do that it's costing".

A $100,000 reward has been offered for information about the ongoing strawberry contamination scare.

Per reports in ABC News, premier premier Annastacia Palaszczuk approved the reward over the weekend, after saying that police are doing everything they can to catch the culprit, who potentilly faces up to ten years behind bars.

Health officials in Australia are warning citizens to cut up strawberries before eating them after people reported finding needles inside the berries.

"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.

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