Monday, 24 September, 2018

Needle in Strawberry Sends Young Man to Hospital

'If in doubt, throw them out': Needles in strawberries prompt warning Contaminated strawberries, Queensland – update 1 - Queensland Police News
Jean Garcia | 16 September, 2018, 14:26

"We could be finished by the weekend", he said.

In the post Ms Faugeras says her 10-year-old discovered a pin embedded in a strawberry while eating a punnet they had bought from the Coles at Wingham.

The frantic mum called the school to ask them to throw the fruit away.

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.

Investigators are looking at "all options and avenues of the packaging and processing of the strawberries", Queensland Police Acting Detective Chief Superintendent Terry Lawrence told 9NEWS.

"Police have spoken to the person who operates the farm and they are assisting us with our inquiries", he 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.

"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.

"Yesterday, I said anyone that had bought those products since the start of last week needed to dispose of them", Dr Jeanette Young said on Thursday.

The two brands affected by the original incident, Berry Obsession and Berrylicious, came from the same farm.

Contaminated punnets have been reported in supermarkets in the states of New South Wales, Queensland and Victoria.

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"Police have liaised with retailers to ensure that all stock is removed from sale", police said.

"We then checked the other strawberries and found another sewing needle lodged inside one of them".

Police are also making inquiries into a suspected copycat incident as part of the investigation into the contamination of strawberries in Queensland.

It comes after a fourth contaminated punnet was bought at a store in Central Queensland and there was a potential copycat incident at a Coles west of Brisbane.

The Queensland Strawberry Growers Association believes a disgruntled farm worker may be responsible but police say they are investigating all aspects of the strawberry transit process.

Several brands of strawberries have been withdrawn.

An investigation is also underway after an employee at a Coles supermarket in Gatton discovered a small metal rod laying across the top of some strawberries inside a plastic punnet on Thursday.

Driving with a friend, Haoni van Dorp, the two purchased a punnet of strawberries on Sunday afternoon.

It's suspected the incident is a copycat attempt.

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.

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