Following a nationwide recall of three brands of strawberries that had been planted with sewing needles and pins, it is now believed that six brands could actually be affected by the contamination as police issue a fresh warning to customers.
On Friday it was reported that punnets produced by ‘Berry Obsession’, ‘Berry Licious’ and ‘Donnybrook Strawberries’ had been pulled from the shelves of major supermarkets across the entire country, however three more brands have since been added to that list, with NSW Police confirming they could also be contaminated.
A force spokesperson said: “Whilst three brands – “Berry Obsession”, “Berry Licious”, and “Donnybrook Berries” – have been recalled nationwide, it is now believed the contamination may also affect – “Love Berry”, “Delightful Strawberries”, and “Oasis” brands of strawberries.
“These brands are believed to be sold in stores in NSW, Queensland, Victoria, and the Australian Capital Territory. Police are continuing to liaise with retailers to ensure that all stock from the affected date have been removed from sale.”
The news was followed by an announcement by Queensland Government who, according to the ABC, are offering a reward of $100,000 for information that leads to the arrest of the person responsible for contaminating strawberries with sewing needles.
An urgent recall was originally issued on Wednesday following the discovery of needles planted inside the fruit, with Queensland’s Chief Health Officer Dr Jeannette Young advising anyone who has purchased strawberries from the Berry Liscious and Berry Obsession brands to dispose of their fruit immediately.
Just two days later, three more affected punnets were reported to police, this time coming from Donnybrook strawberry farms, north of Brisbane – the same area as the original farm. The three new contaminated punnets were reportedly found in Tweed Heads on the New South Wales border, Redbank Plains, west of Brisbane and Everton Park, in north Brisbane, the ABC reports.
The revelations came after a NSW mother claimed her 10-year-old child discovered a pin in a strawberry on Wednesday.
A Coles spokesperson told Starts at 60 that they have complied with Queensland Health’s requests to remove affected strawberries from sale.
“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,” they said in a statement.
“The safety of our customers is our top priority and anyone concerned about their health should seek medical advice. Coles will be working with growers and suppliers to offer support and will ensure that when supply recommences all strawberry punnets are fully inspected before they are sent to supermarkets.”