New South Wales Police have confirmed the first case of strawberries contaminated with needles bought from a Sydney supermarket.
The needles were discovered in three strawberries in a single punnet, which a customer had bought from Coles in Engadine in Sydney’s south.
The customer handed the punnet in to Sutherland Area Police Command, where it will undergo forensic testing.
Police said no one was injured by the contaminated berries by the brand Delightful Strawberries, sourced from Queensland.
Six brands of strawberries are now believed to be affected by needle and pin contamination according to police, including Donnybrook Berries, Love Berry, Delightful Strawberries, Oasis brands, Berry Obsession and Berry Licious.
The incidents have been piling up, with contaminated strawberries found with needles purchased at supermarkets in Queensland, NSW and Victoria.
Last week, Queensland Health confirmed Donnybrook strawberries, supplied to supermarkets across the nation from its farms north of Brisbane, had been found contaminated with sewing needles.
Coles issued a statement today saying it had already removed Donnybrook strawberries as requested by Queensland Health, but now it would remove all brands of Queensland grown strawberries for the time being.
“As a precaution, Coles is also withdrawing all brands and sizes of Queensland grown strawberry punnets from sale in Coles supermarkets in all states [except Western Australia], in Coles Express stores and via Coles online.”
Queensland Government issues $100,000 reward
The Queensland Government has put out a $100,000 reward for information that leads to the arrest of the culprit behind the contamination of the strawberries.
Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk, urged the community to come together to find the person responsible behind the “callous act”.
“This is putting families’ lives at risk and it’s also putting the strawberry industry at risk,” she said.