'Be ultra cautious': new strawberry alert issued after suspected copycat incident

Australia strawberry scare NZ stock not affected

The 21 year old was taken into hospital with "severe abdominal pain" after swallowing half a needle inside a strawberry on Sunday.

The Warmuran farm which supplied the berries under the brand names Berry Obsession and Berry Licious, was inspected by Queensland police and Australian Border Force officers yesterday.

Authorities said that the contaminated strawberries-branded Berrylicious and Berry Obsession-came from two farms located next to each other in south-east Queensland.

Detective Superintendent Terry Lawrence said people responsible for contaminating the fruit could be charged with maliciously causing grievous bodily harm.

"We are now working with retailers nationwide to ensure that all Donnybrook stock is removed from sale", Dr Young said.

"I found the other half of the needle in the strawberry".

"He didn't get hurt or anything - didn't get pricked", she said.

Police are making inquiries into a suspected copycat incident as part of the investigation into the contamination of strawberries in Queensland.

It's unclear if the Delightful Strawberries brand comes from the same farm or a different region.

"They are also contacting the supplier, the police and health and safety", Gane stated.

Angela Stevenson, a mother of two, bought Berry Obsession strawberries from Woolworths in Gladstone on September 11, ABC reported.

"At this time [we] have reason to suspect 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.

Joshua Gane said that he and his friend Hoani van Dorp had bought a punnet of "Berry Obsession" strawberries from the Woolworths in Strathpine Centre. "We're keeping a very open mind as to where this may have occurred".

"I was just cutting up some fruit in the morning for my 12-month-old and hit something hard and pulled it back and there was a needle embedded in it", Stevenson told the ABC.

"I don't know, because the problem is there's so many people handling the fruit all the time, and packing, so I can not say where it happened", he told a Channel 9 reporter.

"As the products have yet to be forensically examined, it is unknown if the contamination is related to the original Queensland incident or a copycat", NSW Police said in a statement late Friday.

"Please be careful and crush them up before eating or just chuck them out". The strawberry stock should be replaced by Thursday and will be safe to consume.

However, police are urging anyone who finds a contaminated punnet to report it immediately and anyone using any of the impacted brands to cut up the strawberries before eating them.

Her young son had eaten one of the strawberries at school but it had not been tampered with.

Anyone with information should contact Crimestoppers on 1800 333 000.

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