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giftedviz.com September 22, 2018


Ex-employee suspected after strawberries spiked with needles

16 September 2018, 03:11 | Austin Hogan

Contaminated strawberries, Queensland – update 1 - Queensland Police News

'If in doubt, throw them out': Needles in strawberries prompt warning

Gladstone woman Angela Stevenson said she found two needles from one punnet of Berry Obsession strawberries in the past week.

"It snapped in half, my knee-jerk reaction was to swallow, and I found the other half of the needle in the strawberry", he said.

Donnybrook operates three farms on the Sunshine Coast but distributes strawberries throughout Australia, including to Coles.

Queensland's chief health officer Jeannette Young said anyone else who had bought the brands of strawberries without signs of tampering should return them to the store or throw them away.

Police in Queensland, where the affected strawberries were grown, believe the contamination is deliberate.

"We're almost at that point of cost of production being greater than what we're selling them for".

"I found the other half of the needle in the strawberry. We'd be lucky at the moment to get between $3-4 a kilo", Mr Schultz said.

"At this time, 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 fairly confident if people do come forward with a needle in a strawberry, particularly with the packaging, that will provide us with some information", he said.

"They suspect it is foul play, but unsure whether it was via the supplier, Woolworths or a customer", Gane said.

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Earlier this week sewing needles were found hidden inside strawberries sold at Woolworths, sparking a recall of two brands that had been sold in Queensland, NSW and Victoria.

"I now say given that there's been these additional incidents, unrelated to that particular product, my advice is to be ultra cautious and simply cut up those strawberries before consuming them".

Inquiries to date indicate the contamination affects two brands of strawberries - "Berry Obsession" and "Berry Licious".

"We're keeping a very open mind as to where this may have occurred somewhere between the actual growing of the strawberry through to the end of the production line, including even further through to distribution and going onto the shelves", he said.

"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?"

"Please be careful and crush them up before eating or just chuck them out".

"I don't know, because the problem is there's so many people handling the fruit all the time, and packing, so I can not say where it happened", he told a Channel 9 reporter.

Authorities said on September 13 that they believe that they had mitigated enough risk for customers to buy strawberries again, as all stock had been replaced.

It comes after Queensland Health advised for anyone concerned they may have consumed the contaminated strawberries to contact 13 43 25 84 or speak to their GP immediately.



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