Food Warning: Everything You Need To Know After Needles Found Inside Strawberries


13 September 2018

Article heading image for Food Warning: Everything You Need To Know After Needles Found Inside Strawberries

The fallout continues from yesterday's strawberry recall amid reports of sewing needles being located within the produce.

It is believed that the incident, which has sparked a recall of strawberry punnets in NSW, QLD and VIC, may have been instigated by a former staff member.

“At this time, (we) 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 Queensland Strawberry Growers Association said in a statement.

“To our current knowledge, two labels, Berry Licious and Berry Obsession are the only affected lines.”

This comes after a man went into shock after swallowing a sewing needle which was lodged inside a strawberry.

Anyone in NSW, QLD or Victoria is urged to throw away any strawberries purchased since early last week.

“Definitely those two are the only brands of concern but if people don’t know, and they want to be ultra cautious, then it would be best if they just throw out any strawberries,” QLD Chief Health Officer Dr Jeanette Young said.

“A lot of people won’t know the brand of strawberries they’ve bought … if they do have any strawberries it would be safest to dispose of them.”

There have been numerous reported cases of customers finding needles inside the produce.

Anyone who has found a needle in a strawberry is urged to call police on 131 444.


However, President of Strawberries Australia John Calle has said that while this is a concerning incident, "the strawberries are safe enough".

QLD Police have stressed that strawberries outside of the Berrylicious and Berry Obsession brands are safe, as the contamination is believed to have occurred at one farm.

"The public is going to be wary of whether they're going to get a strawberry with a needle, and that's going to hurt the industry as a whole," Mr Calle said.

"Strawberries are safe to eat, I can assure the public. My grandson was eating strawberries today.

"It's not something that happens everyday - 37 years in the industry and I've never seen anything like it.

Mr Calle said at the moment, it's just a case of letting the police do their investigation.

"Then we will know where we stand and we can put more protective measures in place."

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