Strawberry crisis spreads to NSW as boy finds pin in Coles punnet

'If in doubt, throw them out': Needles in strawberries prompt warning

Contaminated strawberry products were distributed across Queensland, Victoria and New South Wales.

The woman who found the needles took to Facebook to alert others and urge people to check their strawberries or throw them out.

So far, three incidents have been reported to the police, including one in Queensland and two in Victoria.

"It was lying on top of the strawberries", Detective Acting Chief Superintendent Terry Lawrence said.

"We're fairly confident if people do come forward with a needle in a strawberry, particularly with the packaging, that will provide us with some information", he said.

"I said I need you to stop him from eating the strawberries".

Chantal Faugeras posted to Facebook images of strawberries she said were bought from a Coles supermarket on the NSW mid-north coast on Tuesday.

These include Donnybrook strawberries and those sold by the Woolworths Group under the Berry Obsession and Berry Licious names.

"At this time, have reason to suspect that a disgruntled ex-employee may have orchestrated the occurrence, wherein sewing needles were found in a number of strawberries, in Queensland and Victoria", the organization said in a statement.

"I don't know, because the problem is there's so many people handling the fruit all the time, and packing, so I can not say where it happened", he told a Channel 9 reporter.

Six brands of strawberries are believed to have been targeted in a needle sabotage spanning four states, with police unsure if it is the same ploy or a copycat.

More news: One million asked to evacuate as Hurricane Florence closes in

Adrian Schultz, vice president of the Queensland Strawberry Growers Association, told ABC it was a tough time for farmers even before this week's fears emerged.

"Kids chuck them in so not sure what both brands were.only complaint was tonight from "Delightful" strawberries," she said.

Police were investigating the possibility of an extortion attempt or someone carrying out a vendetta against the supermarket giant.

A disgruntled former worker in Australia has been accused of purposely putting sewing needles in strawberries, according to police.

Joshua Gane said that he and his friend Hoani van Dorp had bought a punnet of "Berry Obsession" strawberries from the Woolworths in Strathpine Centre.

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.

"The idea of an ex-employee was put forward by the Strawberry Growers Association".

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

Queensland Health issued advice applicable to all strawberries, saying the fruit is safe to purchase but until advised, consumers should cut them up before consumption.

A Coles spokesperson told Starts at 60: "Coles takes the safety of the food we sell seriously and we are working with our suppliers, police and state health regulators to investigate".

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