Six brands of strawberries can be contaminated with needles: police

Strawberry punnets

Police in New South Wales warned that six brands of strawberries could be contaminated with sewing needles.

"Now it is believed that contamination can affect six brands of strawberries: Berry Obsession, Berry Licious, Love Berry, Donnybrook Berries, Delightful Strawberries and Oasis," NSW police said in a statement Friday.

It is believed that these brands are sold in stores in New South Wales, Queensland, Victoria and the Australian Capital Territory.

"The police continue to maintain contact with retailers to ensure that all stocks of the affected date have been eliminated from the sale," the statement said.

Earlier on Friday, Queensland police and health officials said they had confirmed reports of three consumers in Tweed Heads in New South Wales and Redbank Plains in Queensland and Everton Park.

The strawberries were sold under the Donnybrook brand, which is supplied by several farms on the Sunshine Coast not far from a Warmuran farm that is also under police investigation.

It is unclear which of the farms that supply berries with the Donnybrook brand come from strawberries, but the reports were made to the authorities in the last 24 hours.

"We have to see this as a whole, it's a very broad picture and we can not speculate in any way, shape or form," said interim Queensland superintendent Terry Lawrence.

He said there is no link between the three most recent cases and the Warmuran farm, which supplied berries contaminated with the Berry Obsession and Berry Licious brands.

A Facebook publication of a needle found in a strawberry basket.

Facebook

These are sabotaged strawberries discovered by a mother in New South Wales, in the first instance for that state after a recent scare in Queensland.

Chantal Faugeras posted on Facebook images of strawberries that she says she bought on Tuesday at a Coles supermarket on the north coast of New South Wales.

In the message, Ms. Faugeras says her 10-year-old daughter discovered a pin embedded in a strawberry while eating a basket they had bought at Coles at Wingham.

"We found three pins inside three strawberries," Ms. Faugeras wrote.

"Please be careful and crush them before eating or just take them off."

She said that the baskets were the product of the Delightful Strawberries brand.

Coles said they had been in contact with Ms. Faugeras.

"Coles takes the safety of the food we sell seriously and we are working with our suppliers, the police and state health regulators to investigate," a spokesperson said in a statement.

"The safety of our clients is our priority and anyone concerned about their health should seek medical advice."

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

It is unclear whether Ms. Faugeras's discovery is related to previous incidents or to a possible impersonator.

On Thursday, Queensland police announced they were investigating a supposed imitation incident after a metal bar was discovered on strawberries inside a plastic basket in a Coles in Gatton.

Consumers in all three states were urged to cut or throw berries purchased in the last week, as the police look for a culprit in the sabotage.

The Warmuran farm, which supplied the berries with the Berry Obsession and Berry Licious brands, was inspected by Queensland police and Australian border force officials on Thursday.

It is not clear if the Delightful Strawberries brand comes from the same farm or a different region.