Needle-in-strawberry scare spreads across Australia

Needle-in-strawberry scare spreads across Australia

When the fruit was eaten this morning, a needle was found inside one of the strawberries.

Initially, it was thought just Berry Licious and Berry Obsession strawberries were affected, after Queensland Police and Queensland Health warned members of the public on Wednesday.

Countdown said it had stopped ordering any further imports of Australian strawberries, while Foodstuffs had halted distribution.

Authorities are warning consumers in Queensland, NSW, Victoria and the Australian Capital Territory to throw away the affected punnets or return to the place of purchase.

The move comes after a massive recall in Australia, where strawberries were pulled from the shelves of a number of supermarkets after needles found in five states.

An investigation is underway after a metal object was found inserted into a banana in a Coles supermarket in Queensland, the state Police Commissioner has confirmed.

The man said he found the needle in his sink after preparing strawberries for his family.

Lawrence area residents get the all-clear to go home
Columbia Gas is owned by NiSource , which serves almost 4 million natural gas and 500,000 electric customers across seven states. The explosions killed Leonel Rondon, 18, while he sat in a vehicle in the driveway of a home in Lawrence, authorities said.

Vice-president of the Queensland Strawberry Growers Association, Adrian Schultz, says a single act of "commercial terrorism" has brought a multi-million-dollar industry to its knees.

The Queensland state government has offered a A$100,000 (£55,000; $72,000) reward for information.

Australian supermarkets aren't taking any chances and have taken certain strawberry brands off their shelves.

Until investigators have a better idea where the needles are coming from, they recommend all strawberries be cut or disposed of.

Amid the contamination, the Queensland Strawberry Growers Association on Wednesday said they suspected that the culprit was possibly a "disgruntled" former employee. Many large New Zealand stores have withdrawn Australian-grown strawberries today. The ABC said Saturday wholesale prices had fallen by half to 50 Australian cents per punnet, below the cost of production.

"The low life scum who think it somehow amusing to put needles in strawberries I think should be chucked in jail as soon as they're identified", Nationals MP Andrew Broad said.

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