A Copycat “Thin Metal Object” Has Been Found Inside Supermarket Strawberries

Queensland Police suspect a “thin metal object” found inside a punnet of strawberries in southeast Queensland today could be the result of a copycat incident.

Just yesterday police urged consumers to throw out their strawbs, after needles were found inside fruit that had made its way from one supplier in regional Queensland into shops and supermarkets across the east coast.

The brands, Berry Obsession and Berry Licious, are stocked at Woolworths and smaller retailers – but today a needle-like object was found inside a punnet sold at Coles, as the ABC writes.

That’s on top of a fourth reported contamination incident, the second in Queensland, this one involving a nine-year-old boy almost eating one of the strawberries in Gladstone. Two others have occurred in Victoria.

Cops have been working with retailers to get rid of all the contaminated stock.

The Strawberry Growers Association have said they reckon the culprit could be a disgruntled ex-employee, but the police would not be moved to speculate.

Detective Acting Chief Superintendent Terry Lawrence said they’re in the process of interviewing current and former staff at two affected farms.

We’re keeping a very open mind as to where this may have occurred somewhere between the actual growing of the strawberry through to the end of the production line, including even further through to distribution and going onto the shelves.

Cops are requesting anyone who finds a strawberry containing a needle call Policelink at 131 444.

Queensland chief health officer Dr. Jeanette Young suggested yesterday anyone with strawberries they’d purchased since early last week should bin or return them. She also said that strawbs today would be fine, as are strawberries that are definitely from a different brand.

After today’s incident, she’s amended her advice slightly. On top of her previous advice to throw out any ~mystery brand~ strawberries, and the two offending brands, she reckons you should cut your fruit up first, just to be safe.

Strawberries are a great fruit, and people should continue to buy them, but everyone should simply cut them up.

Thanks to the copycat incident, even Lawrence is urging y’all to be cautious with your strawbs.

Just cut them up, have a look, it’s not going to destroy it. It makes it difficult because you might need to dispose of them earlier, but just cut them up for safety’s sake.

In Queensland, the penalty for a person found guilty of deliberately contaminating food to cause public alarm or anxiety – or for interfering with food the public to refrain from purchasing those goods – is a maximum of 10 years’ imprisonment.