Disgruntled ex-employee suspected of tampering with strawberries
Authorities in Queensland are alerting consumers about ‘Berry Obsession’ and ‘Berrylicious’ brands of strawberries purchased from Woolworths stores in Queensland, NSW and Victoria after several incidents in which sewing needles were found in the fruits.
Consumers are being urged to check their fridges and freezers for stored product and dispose of any food which may contain this product.
Woolworths has already received three reports from customers in Victoria and Queensland of contaminated strawberries from these brands. The QLD Strawberry Growers Association said in a statement that it has “reason to suspect” it was a former employee of the association but are waiting on more information from Queensland police.
“At this time, the Queensland Strawberry Growers Association 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,” Rowling said in a statement.”The Queensland Strawberry Growers Association is waiting on more information from Queensland Police on this matter and will update the Australian public as news becomes available to us.”
Joshua Gane from Queensland posted a message on Facebook warning people about the product on Sunday.
“Just posting this as a warning to anyone that has bought strawberries (Berry Obsessions) from Woolworths recently. Driving up to the coast when Hoani van Dorp bites through a strawberry and swallows half a sewing needle. We then checked the other strawberries and found another sewing needle lodged inside one of them. We are now at the ER because he subsequently started experiencing severe abdominal pain. Just being a helpful member of the community and making sure your children don’t have to endure what we have had to experience today. Please make your family and friends aware,” he posted.
A spokesperson for Woolworths said that they are working closely with authorities on this matter.
“Woolworths takes food safety very seriously and is working closely with authorities as they investigate this matter. We have withdrawn Berry Obsession and Berrylicious branded strawberries from sale while this incident is being investigated with our suppliers. Customers are advised to return these products to their local Woolworths for a full refund,” a spokesperson said in a statement.
For consumers who find contaminated strawberries, contact NSW Police. Anyone with concerns for their health should speak to a GP.