No import of Australian strawberry brands with needle contamination: AVA


It's a crime so odd that any motive seems almost inconceivable.

A health warning to throw out or cut up strawberries remains in Queensland, NSW, Victoria and South Australia as authorities hunt those responsible.

In recent days, a number of people in Australia have opened boxes of strawberries they purchased at supermarkets, only to find that the fruit has small sewing needles or pins stuck inside.

Spiked strawberries have surfaced in Sydney, with a horrified shopper finding needles stuck inside three pieces of the fruit.

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.

One man has been taken to hospital after swallowing fragments and a nine-year-old boy reportedly found a needle while eating a strawberry, but did not swallow it. The broadcaster also said wholesale prices have dropped by around half.

More news: Paul Manafort and special counsel reach tentative plea deal
More news: Wind, flooded roads herald approach of Hurricane Florence in North Carolina
More news: Carolinas brace for the worst as monstrous Hurricane Florence nears

ABC reported that as consumers have shied away from purchasing the fruit over fears it will be contaminated with needles, farmers have ended up throwing out mass quantities of the strawberries they can't sell. You've got more chance of winning lotto than being affected'.

The needle scare started with the Berry Obsession, Berry Licious and Donnybrook brands, but has since expanded to include three more brands - Love Berry, Delightful Strawberries and Oasis.

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.

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

"This is a serious issue and it just begs the question, how could any right-minded person want to put a baby or child or anybody's health at risk by doing such a awful act?" she said.