Disgruntled ex-employee blamed for sewing needles found in strawberries

As thousands of punnet's are recalled across Australia.
strawberriesJoshua Gane/Facebook

An angered ex-employee has been blamed for deliberately planting sewing needles in strawberries, causing thousands of punnet’s across Australia to be recalled.

Police have urged consumers to throw out strawberries purchased over the past week in Queensland, New South Wales and Victoria after needles were found inside the fruit. 

Industry Development Officer Jennifer Rowling of Queensland Strawberry Growers Association released a statement on Wednesday of the company’s suspicions. 

‘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,’ the statement read. 

‘To our current knowledge, two labels, Berry Licious and Berry Obsession are the only affected lines.

‘We will update the Australian public as news becomes available to us.’

(Credit: Joshua Gane/Facebook)

Joshua Gane was one of the many who found a needle in his strawberries. 

Driving with a friend,Haoni van Dorp, the two purchased a punnet of strawberries on Sunday afternoon. 

Van Dorp says he bit into one and swallowed half of a sewing needle, before the pair found another.

Police believe the needles may have been deliberately planted with the perpetrator wanting to cause harm.

Gane posted the ordeal to Facebook, along with a picture that shows a metal pin poking out of a strawberry.

Van Dorp had to be taken to the emergency room with ‘severe abdominal pain.’ 

Queensland’s Chief Health Officer Dr Jeannette Young said anyone else who had bought the brands of strawberries without signs of tampering should return them to the store or throw them away.

‘While it is expected that berries picked early last week would now not be useable, many people freeze the fruit for later use,’ she said.

‘If you are in doubt, just throw them out.’ 

Dr Young said that any strawberries bought from September 13 are safe.

‘Any strawberries that you are certain are not the brands Berry Licious and Berry Obsession, are safe,’ she confirmed. 

‘If you believe you have eaten a needle, we would recommend you speak to your doctor or call 13 HEALTH.

‘There is no reason to stop eating strawberries, we just need to be aware of this incident.’ 

This article originally appeared on New Idea.

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