Six strawberry brands recalled as $100,000 reward offered to catch needle saboteur

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Contaminated punnets have been found across the country, in supermarkets in New South Wales, Queensland and Victoria.

The Queensland Strawberry Growers Association said it's likely the affected strawberries were tampered with between the time they were packed and the time they were bought.

On Thursday, the owner of New World, Pak'nSave and Four Square said stores in New Zealnad are stocking some Australian strawberries ahead of the start of the local season, but a Foodstuffs spokesperson said none of their fruit was associated with the recall in Australia.

Queensland Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk told media on Saturday investigators were doing "everything they possibly can" to find those responsible for the tampering, and pleaded with the public to come forward if they knew any information.

The Berry Obsession, Berry Licious, Donnybrook Berries, Love Berry, Delightful Strawberries and Oasis brands of strawberries are believed to be affected, according to the police, who said the contaminated fruit appeared to have originated at a Queensland-based supplier.

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

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One Australian woman posted photos online showing the needles inside strawberries her 10-year-old son was eating.

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".

Police are also investigating a copycat saboteur after a Coles employee at a Gatton store, about 90 kilometres west of Brisbane, found a "small silver rod" on top of strawberries in a punnet.

It is believed the consumer had purchased the brand "Delightful" but returned it after a pin was found sticking out of the fruit, the Daily Telegraph reported.

Certain brands have been removed from sale.

The customer handed the punnet in to Sutherland Area Police Command, where it will undergo forensic testing.

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