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'Please be careful': NSW mum finds needles in strawberries

17 September 2018

The owner of the farm linked to the needle scandal was said to be "heartbroken" over the news. All punnets have been recalled.

"Just posting this as a warning to anyone that has bought strawberries (Berry Obsessions) from Woolworths recently", Gane wrote on September 9.

"For all other brands, our advice remains that you can continue to eat strawberries, but you should cut them up before eating".

On Wednesday, 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 a Coles store in Gatton.

Acting Chief Detective Superintendent Terry Lawrence said anyone who finds anything in their fruit should contact police, who will come and collect them as potential evidence.

"Luckily, in each of those cases, the needles were found within the strawberry by the person who had purchased them when cutting the strawberries, as we had asked them to do", he said.

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

Then she instantly realised that she had sent strawberries from the same punnet to school in her older son's packed lunch.

In a follow-up statement released on Facebook Thursday, the group said the strawberries were seemingly "interfered with between the time they were packed and the time they were purchased".

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"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 organization said in a statement.

"These strawberries are distributed in South Australia by Coles, Woolworths, IGA and Aldi".

Police have liaised with retailers to ensure that all stock is removed from sale. He said other strawberries also had needles inside of them.

Investigations are underway after another strawberry contamination case has been reported in Townsville, in north Queensland.

Another Wamuran grower, Mandy Schultz, took to Facebook before the needle contamination fears kicked in to say she received a phone call from a wholesale agent to say he was not accepting anything but extra large strawberries.

These include Donnybrook strawberries and those sold by the Woolworths Group under the Berry Obsession and Berry Licious names.

The photograph shows a cardboard tray half full with punnets of strawberries. It was treated as a copycat incident.

ACT chief health officer Dr Paul Kelly said no contaminated Berry Liscious or Berry Obsession strawberries had been reported in the territory, but encouraged caution.

"So some of those reports coming in are not something that we would pursue. because we are so early in the stage of each of these reports coming through and how large it is for us to follow each one of them down".

'Please be careful': NSW mum finds needles in strawberries