'Disgruntled ex-employee' blamed for needle in Woolworths strawberries

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

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

Australian media reported a man in Queensland was hospitalized after swallowing part of a needle and developing abdominal pain.

Her nine-year-old son had also taken strawberries to school, but by the time she contacted the school to raise the alarm, he'd already bitten into the strawberry and discovered the needle.

Queensland chief health officer Dr Jeannette Young said that following today's potential "copycat" incident, people should be "ultra cautious" and cut up any strawberries before consuming them.

Police have been unable to confirm whether the contaminated products are linked to the original contamination in Queensland or a copycat, however they are urging anyone who has purchased contaminated products to take the punnet to their local police station immediately for forensic testing.

"We've got to look at this as a whole, it's a very, very broad picture and we can't speculate in any way, shape or form", Queensland Acting Chief Superintendent Terry Lawrence said.

An update on the investigation was released amid what authorities said was thought to be a "copycat incident" and provided a photo in relation to it.

The Queensland Strawberry Growers Association said it had reason to suspect that a disgruntled ex-employee may be behind the incident. "I pulled it out and there was a needle right there embedded in the strawberry", she said.

Neither Queensland police or Queensland Health confirmed Ms Faugeras' claims in their press conference on Thursday afternoon.

'Any strawberries that you are certain are not the brands Berry Licious and Berry Obsession, are safe, ' she confirmed.

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

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.

One woman wrote on the post: "Sent my 7 year old to school with this brand strawberries this morning". The strawberry stock should be replaced by Thursday and will be safe to consume.

Australians have been warned to cut strawberries before eating them after sewing needles were found in several punnets, triggering the withdrawal of three brands from sale nationwide.

"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.

"We have withdrawn Berry Obsession and Berry Licious branded strawberries from sale while this incident is being investigated with our suppliers".

But the bottom line is: If in doubt, throw them out.

You can report information about crime anonymously to Crime Stoppers, a registered charity and community volunteer organisation, by calling 1800 333 000 or via crimestoppersqld.com.au 24hrs per day.

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