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Australian officials warn of needle danger for 6 strawberry brands

15 September 2018

Police have confirmed a fourth case of strawberry contamination in NSW after a Coles customer found pins in three pieces of fruit from a Coles supermarket in Engadine in Sydney's South.

Initially three incidents in Queensland had been reported to police on Thursday.

Mr Michael said strawberry growers made huge capital outlays to plant their crops, and now was a critical time of year for them to get some money back.

On Friday evening, New South Wales Police Force said it believed the contamination may affect six brands of strawberries - Berry Obsession, Berry Licious, Love Berry, Donnybrook Berries, Delightful Strawberries, and Oasis.

Australian authorities are warning its citizens against eating certain brands of strawberries after some have been found to contain hidden sewing needles inside.

ABC News reported on Saturday that wholesale prices have halved to 50 Australian cents per punnet below the cost of production in Western Australia, where strawberries crops are now peaking, with growers forced to dump tonnes of the fruit.

"This is a serious issue and it just begs the question, how could any right-minded person want to put a baby or child or anybody's health at risk by doing such a awful act?" she said.

Police asked anyone who finds a needle in their strawberries to take the punnet their local station.

"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 on Friday.

The association has previously said it believes a disgruntled former farm worker may be responsible, but police say they are investigating all aspects of the strawberry transit process.

Woolworths Group has removed all the affected brands from shelves in its supermarkets, but continues to sell other varieties of the fruit.

NSW Police are also urging anyone who has purchased contaminated product to take the punnet to their local police station immediately for triage and forensic examination.

Australian officials warn of needle danger for 6 strawberry brands