Australia: Strawberries found with sewing needles inside

The Queensland Strawberry Growers Association suspects a disgruntled ex-employee was behind the sewing needles found in a number of strawberries sold by Woolworths. In a statement, the association said it had "reason to suspect" it was a former employee and was waiting on more information from Queensland Police.

Police and Queensland Health have warned consumers to dispose or return punnets of two brands of strawberries - Berry Licious and Berry Obsession - which were sold in Queensland, New South Wales and Victoria.

Queensland chief health officer Dr Jeannette Young said the contaminated brands came from a farm in south-east Queensland, and were sold to Woolworths, but could also have been distributed to other stores.

A Facebook user posted a warning several days ago about a punnet of Berry Obsession strawberries purchased from Woolworths at the Strathpine Centre on Brisbane's northside, after his friend swallowed "half a sewing needle".

"We then checked the other strawberries and found another sewing needle lodged inside one of them," Joshua Gane said. "We are now at the ER because he subsequently started experiencing severe abdominal pain."

Queensland Acting Chief Superintendent Terry Lawrence from the State Crime Command said police believed the contamination was deliberate. "[It's been done] obviously to injure somebody. Police have spoken to the person who operates the farm and they are assisting us with our inquiries.”

According to, authorities across the three states were investigating to find the culprits.

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