Metal allegedly found in banana an 'isolated' incident

Larry Hoffman
September 18, 2018

Health officials in Queensland confirmed the Donnybrook strawberry supplier had been hit with three credible complaints, prompting a call for retailers to immediately remove the company's fruit from sale.

The Australian government has ordered a federal investigation into the contamination of strawberries with needles and pins, as police reported incidents in two more Australian states.

Queensland Police are leading an investigation into the source of the needles, and the state's Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk has stumped up a reward of $100,000 for anyone with information that leads to the capture of the culprits.

"Whoever is behind this is not just putting families at risk across Queensland and the rest of Australia - they are putting an entire industry at risk", Ms Palaszczuk said.

He said: 'I'm angry for all the associated people, it's the farmers, the people who supply them, the packaging people, the truckies with families to support, who suddenly lose their jobs ... it's far-reaching'.

Foodstuffs said it was confident there was no product in its stores that have been affected by the Australian action.

The contamination was first reported in Queensland, where the government is offering a $100,000 reward (almost $72,000 in USA dollars) for information.

In a statement released to the Tweed Daily News, Queensland's chief health officer Dr Jeannette Young said three more cases of contaminated needles were found in Tweed Heads, Redbank Plains and Everton Park in Brisbane.

One of the needles found in one of the strawberries from interstate
Camera Icon One of the needles found in one of the strawberries from

"Police are urging anyone who finds strawberry punnets containing foreign objects to contact the police in their home state".

At least six brands have been caught up in the scare: Berry Obsession, Berry Licious, Love Berry, Donnybrook Berries, Delightful Strawberries and Oasis.

Sewing needles were initially found in punnets of the fruit in Queensland last week, but the problem has since spread.

New Zealand imports Australian strawberries when they are out of season locally from April to September, and both chains say the home-grown product will be on supermarket shelves soon.

"The contamination relates to what appears to be needles inserted in strawberries".

Sheana Arcon and her father told 9 News Perth they bought the strawberries from Woolworths on Albany Highway in Kelmscott on Monday afternoon.

Sewing needles have been found in strawberries in all six states, with New Zealand announcing this week it would pull the Australian-grown fruit from its supermarket shelves. "Strawberries are a great fruit, and people should continue to buy them, but everyone should simply cut them up".

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