Sydney customer finds needle in 'Delightful' punnet of strawberries

Empty shelves normally stocked with strawberry punnets are seen at a Coles Supermarket in Brisbane

Health officials in Australia are warning citizens to cut up strawberries before eating them after people reported finding needles inside the berries.

NSW Police said in statement: "These brands are believed to be sold in stores in New South Wales, Queensland, Victoria, and the Australian Capital Territory".

One man was taken to hospital after eating a strawberry with a needle inside.

ABC News reported on Saturday that wholesale prices have halved to 50 Australian cents per punnet below the cost of production in Western Australia, where strawberries crops are now peaking, with growers forced to dump tonnes of the fruit.

The contamination is believed to have affected the brands "Berry Obsession", "Berry Licious", "Love Berry", "Donnybrook Berries", "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 is said to have issued the reward over concerns for growers as well as consumers.

'This is food terrorism that is bringing an industry to its knees, ' Strawberries Australia Inc Queensland spokesman Ray Daniels said.

"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". "These further instances are cases in which needles have been found within the strawberries and people have gone to eat them, have cut them up and found the needles".

Mr Michael said the scare could not have come at a worse time, as WA was coming into peak production season, yet consumers were avoiding the fruit as a knee-jerk reaction to the contamination.

He said retailers had heavily discounted prices, but that was not helping move enough stock.

NSW Police are also urging anyone who has purchased contaminated product to take the punnet to their local police station immediately for triage and forensic examination.

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