Australian officials warn of needle danger for 6 strawberry brands

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There are no imports of the affected brands of Australian strawberries that were reported to be contaminated with sewing needles, said the Agri-Food & Veterinary Authority of Singapore on Saturday (Sep 15).

People in possession of the brands in question should refrain from using them and strawberries from other companies "should be cut up" for safe measure, police said in the update, quoting Queensland's Chief Health Officer Dr. Jeannette Young.

A thin piece of metal seen among a punnet of strawberries.

South West grower and market agent Paul Da Silva, from Grower Connect, said the wholesale price had fallen 50 to 70 per cent, compared with a week ago, even though WA had not imported strawberries from Queensland for a decade.

The spokesperson said it would seek guidance from the Queensland Emergency Coordination Centre before returning the fruit to shelves.

The concerned consumer handed in the infected product to their local police station after they found the three sharp objects inside the berry.

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Empty shelves, normally stocked with strawberry punnets, are seen at a Coles in Brisbane on Friday.

New South Wales Police said the number of reported incidents has been increasing, with six brands believed to have been targeted: Berry Obsession, Berry Licious, Love Berry, Donnybrook Berries, Delightful Strawberries and Oasis.

"Coles will be working with growers and suppliers to offer support and will ensure that when supply recommences all strawberry punnets are fully inspected before they are sent to supermarkets".

"This is a very vicious crime and it's a general attack on the public, and it's also an attack on a specific industry", he told reporters on Sunday.

Authorities in Australia on Thursday said they had four confirmed incidents of "contaminated strawberries" after an individual reportedly discovered a needle inside a berry after taking a bite.

Several brands of strawberries have been withdrawn. "Otherwise, make sure you chop before you chomp".

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