Sydney-bought strawberries contaminated with needles, NSW police confirm

Health officials in Australia are warning citizens to cut up strawberries before eating them after people reported finding needles inside the berries.

It comes after New South Wales mother Chantal Faugeras posted to Facebook images of strawberries she said were bought from a Coles supermarket on the NSW Mid North Coast on Tuesday.

Among the reports cited by the BBC are a 9-year-old boy who's said to have bit into a strawberry with a needle (he didn't swallow it) and a 21-year-old man who reportedly went to the ER after he ingested half a needle and experienced "severe abdominal pain".

It is the first time needles have been discovered in strawberries in NSW after four contaminated punnets were discovered in Queensland and Victoria in recent days.

Six brands of strawberries are now believed to be affected by needle and pin contamination according to police, including Donnybrook Berries, Love Berry, Delightful Strawberries, Oasis brands, Berry Obsession and Berry Licious.

The incident was reported to authorities on Thursday, but the strawberry punnet targeted was a different brand to other confirmed discoveries.

Queensland premier Annastacia Palaszczuk has issued the reward over concerns for growers as well as consumers.

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Mr Michael said strawberry growers made huge capital outlays to plant their crops, and now was a critical time of year for them to get some money back.

The association said it could be a disgruntled former farmer who's putting the needles in the strawberries.

The product is now set to under-go forensic testing at the local police station and authorities work with the supermarket.

Queensland chief health officer Dr Jeanette Young has advised consumers to take care when consuming the fruit.

"Police have liaised with retailers to ensure that all stock is removed from sale", police said.

The statement added: "As the products have yet to be forensically examined, it is unknown if the contamination is related to the original Queensland incident or a copycat".

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