Ex-employee suspected after strawberries spiked with needles

Australia strawberry scare NZ stock not affected

Australia strawberry scare NZ stock not affected

Woolworths has issued a recall of strawberries, asking customers to return strawberries purchased at stores across the country for a refund. All punnets have been recalled.

"We are now working with retailers nationwide to ensure that all Donnybrook stock is removed from sale", Dr Young said.

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

"We're almost at that point of cost of production being greater than what we're selling them for".

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

At this time, the Queensland Strawberry Growers Association have reason to suspect that a disgruntled ex-employee may.

"But at this stage, please cut them up and just look to make sure they haven't been contaminated", Dr Young said.

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

"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 farms are not related to the farm packaging strawberries under the Berry Licious and Berry Obsession brands which was hit with a needle crisis earlier in the week.

Authorities are continuing to liaise with retailers to ensure that all stock from the affected date have been removed from sale.

So far four contaminated punnets have been found - two in Queensland and two in Victoria.

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Sunshine Coast strawberry farmer Adrian Schultz said, with many farmers already struggling after a tough season, the fear of copycat incidents affecting sales was a concern.

Three punnets of Donnybrook strawberries have also been sabotaged.

It's suspected the incident is a copycat attempt.

Acting Detective Chief Superintendent Lawrence said officers were looking into unconfirmed reports of contamination involving other strawberry brands.

Det. Supt. Lawrence said officers were now identifying past and present employees of the two farms concerned, which involves more than 100 people, with plans to interview them.

Police believe they have contained the threat, which was first reported over the weekend.

Police said they believed another case to be a copycat - a small silver rod was found sitting on top of strawberries in a punnet purchased at a Coles in Gatton.

Police are checking every step of the production chain.

The growers association released a statement acknowledging the reports. "We're not agreeing with that at all at this particular point in time; our investigation is still open", he said.

What's going on with the strawberries?

Queensland mum Angela Stevenson told Sunrise she discovered a sewing needle when she was cutting up fruit for her child.

Anyone with information should contact Crimestoppers on 1800 333 000.

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