Published: Sat, September 15, 2018
Money | By Ralph Mccoy

'Dreadful Act': More Brands Recalled, $100K Reward Offer

'Dreadful Act': More Brands Recalled, $100K Reward Offer

The incident was reported to authorities on Thursday, but the strawberry punnet targeted was a different brand to other confirmed discoveries.

On Thursday, the owner of New World, Pak'nSave and Four Square said stores in New Zealnad are stocking some Australian strawberries ahead of the start of the local season, but a Foodstuffs spokesperson said none of their fruit was associated with the recall in Australia.

Queensland premier Annastacia Palaszczuk is said to have issued the reward over concerns for growers as well as consumers.

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.

Australian authorities are warning its citizens against eating certain brands of strawberries after some have been found to contain hidden sewing needles inside.

Among the reports cited by the BBC are a 9-year-old boy who's said to have bit into a strawberry with a needle (he didn't swallow it) and a 21-year-old man who reportedly went to the ER after he ingested half a needle and experienced "severe abdominal pain". "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".

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"At this stage, please cut them up and just look to make sure they haven't been contaminated", she said.

Despite the nation-wide fear, strawberry farmers have asked consumers to still purchase strawberries but chop them up the first.

Police are also investigating a copycat saboteur after a Coles employee at a Gatton store, about 90 kilometres west of Brisbane, found a "small silver rod" on top of strawberries in a punnet.

Queensland chief health officer Dr Jeanette Young has advised consumers to take care when consuming the fruit.

"Police are continuing to liaise with retailers to ensure that all stock from the affected date has been removed from sale".

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