Sewing needles found in Australian strawberries, farmer 'devastated'


Another Wamuran grower, Mandy Schultz, took to Facebook before the needle contamination fears kicked in to say she received a phone call from a wholesale agent to say he was not accepting anything but extra large strawberries.

Donnybrook operates three farms on the Sunshine Coast but distributes strawberries throughout Australia, including to Coles.

Yesterday, police in Queensland revealed there may even be a copycat contaminator on the loose after a fourth case of an Aussie consumer finding needle fragments in their berries.

Acting Detective Chief Superintendent Terry Lawrence said there was no evidence of extortion but police inquiries were continuing.

The needle found in one strawberry last weekend.

"He didn't get hurt or anything - didn't get pricked", she said.

The association has previously said it believes a disgruntled former farm worker may be responsible, but police say they are investigating all aspects of the strawberry transit process. "And told the teacher there was a needle in his strawberry".

In a follow-up statement released on Facebook Thursday, the group said the strawberries were seemingly "interfered with between the time they were packed and the time they were purchased".

Angela Stevenson, a mother of two, bought Berry Obsession strawberries from Woolworths in Gladstone on September 11, ABC reported.

Queensland Health and police urged people who bought strawberries sold under the brands Berry Obsession and Berry Licious across the eastern seaboard in the past week to throw them out, after three separate incidents in Queensland and Victoria.

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The Queensland farmer and owner of the Berrylicious and Berry Obsession brands has seen his company's name splashed all over the national news alongside horror stories of sickening discoveries inside his fruit.

"We're keeping a very open mind as to where this may have occurred somewhere between the actual growing of the strawberry through to the end of the production line, including even further through to distribution and going onto the shelves", he said.

A nine-year old boy bit into a contaminated fruit but did not swallow.

In the post, Ms Faugeras said her 10-year-old discovered a pin embedded in a strawberry while eating a punnet they had bought from the Coles store at Wingham.

Those strawberries sold after Thursday are said to have been from a later shipment and are safe from the threat.

Do you know anyone who has found needles in their strawberries?

Stevenson immediately called her son's school and told them to stop her son from eating the strawberries. If you are in doubt of the brand, throw them out.

"We have not been notified of any cases of contaminated strawberries in South Australia; however, if people have Donnybrook strawberries at home or are unsure of the brand, they should be returned to the place of purchase, or discarded".

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