Police looking for a culprit who puts sewing needles in strawberries are investigating whether a disgruntled worker could be blamed.
The sewing needles have been found hidden inside the strawberries sold in Woolworths, which caused the withdrawal of two brands that were sold in Queensland, New South Wales and Victoria.
The Strawberry Growers Association of Queensland has said that early reports indicate that a disgruntled farmer may be responsible for the alarming act.
It says that the two affected brands, Berry Obsession and Berrylicious, came from the same farm.
The police will not say if they have leads, and will talk to the association about their suspicions that a worker could be the culprit.
"That is a comment from Queensland Strawberry Growers and we will talk to them to see if they have any information to help us," Queensland interim superintendent Terry Lawrence told Nine Network.
He repeated the advice of the health department so that people discard the affected berries they bought between September 5 and 8, or cut them to make sure they are safe to eat.
A man from Queensland and two people from Victoria reported finding needles in berries bought at Woolworths.
The police are reviewing every step of the production chain.
Jennifer Rowling, of the Queensland Strawberry Producers Association, says the growers are devastated by the incident, but customers can be assured that the berries purchased as of Thursday are safe.
"We just want to reinforce that it was a farm that was affected: the two labels inside the only farm, and all those strawberries were removed from the shelves," he told ABC radio.
"We hope that people can see this as it is, and that is an isolated incident." The initial reports we received were … that it seemed that someone like a disgruntled employee might have been suspected of having done something. "
Woolworth has encouraged its customers to return suspect products for a full refund.