Strawberry crisis deepens: Six brands recalled after more needles found

Australia strawberry scare NZ stock not affected

Australia strawberry scare NZ stock not affected

The initial brands affected by the contamination, Berry Licious and Berry Obsession, have already been removed from sale and are no longer in market.

The owner of the farm linked to the needle scandal was said to be "heartbroken" over the news.

An update on the investigation was released amid what authorities said was thought to be a "copycat incident" and provided a photo in relation to it.

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.

Ms Faugeras notified others of the discovery in a post on Facebook on Thursday.

"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 statement read.

It came as a NSW mother said she found more sabotaged strawberries, in the first instance for that state following the recent scares in Queensland.

"It's quite safe to buy them but just cut them up", she said.

The Warmuran farm which supplied the berries under the brand names Berry Obsession and Berry Licious, was inspected by Queensland police and Australian Border Force officers yesterday.

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Queensland Acting Chief Superintendent Terry Lawrence said on September 12 that the police were in contact with the farm operators and Woolworths representatives, and that they believed that the offender contaminated the stock intentionally.

Queensland's chief health officer Jeannette Young said anyone else who had bought the brands of strawberries without signs of tampering should return them to the store or throw them away.

It comes after a fourth contaminated punnet was bought at a store in Central Queensland and there was a potential copycat incident at a Coles west of Brisbane.

She said the punnets were both Delightful Strawberries branded product.

Contaminated strawberries were also found in Yarram and Ballarat, in Victoria, prompting urgent recalls of the two brands in Queensland, NSW and Victoria.

The incident, reported at a supermarket in Gatton, involves the discovery of a thin metal object in a punnet of strawberries.

The Queensland Strawberry Growers Association suspects a former staff member is behind the contamination. "We're not agreeing with that at all at this particular point in time; our investigation is still open", he said.

Chief Superintendent Lawrence said those responsible for contaminating the fruit could be charged with maliciously causing grievous bodily harm, an offence which carries up to 10 years' imprisonment if convicted.

You can report information about crime anonymously to Crime Stoppers, a registered charity and community volunteer organisation, by calling 1800 333 000 or via crimestoppersqld.com.au 24hrs per day.

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