Con­tam­i­na­tion Af­fects Six Brands in Aus­tralia

Aus­tralia’s straw­berry in­dus­try is worth some A$130m ($94m; £70m) a year.

Fiji Sun - - Aust/nz News - BBC Feed­back: jy­otip@fi­jisun.com.fj

Aus­tralians have been warned to cut fresh straw­ber­ries be­fore bit­ing into them af­ter sev­eral peo­ple found sewing nee­dles hid­den in­side the fruit.

Con­tam­i­nated pun­nets have been re­ported in su­per­mar­kets in the states of New South Wales, Queens­land and Victoria.

One man was taken to hos­pi­tal af­ter eat­ing a straw­berry with a nee­dle in­side. A nine-year old boy bit into a con­tam­i­nated fruit but did not swal­low. Sev­eral brands of straw­ber­ries have been with­drawn. Th­ese in­clude Don­ny­brook straw­ber­ries and those sold by the Wool­worths Group un­der the Berry Ob­ses­sion and Berry Li­cious names.

Health of­fi­cials have urged peo­ple pur­chas­ing the fruit to be cau­tious. The warn­ings came af­ter a con­tam­i­nated pun­net was re­ported by Joshua Gane, who wrote in a Face­book post that a 21-year-old friend had suf­fered “se­vere ab­dom­i­nal pain”.

“Un­til ad­vised, con­sumers should cut up straw­ber­ries be­fore con­sum­ing them,” Queens­land Health later said in a state­ment posted on Twit­ter.

Jen­nifer Rowl­ing of the Queens­land Straw­berry Grow­ers’ As­so­ci­a­tion said she be­lieved the straw­ber­ries had been “in­ter­fered with”. She re­ferred to the prob­lem as “an iso­lated in­ci­dent” and “sab­o­tage”.

Health of­fi­cials have warned peo­ple pur­chas­ing straw­ber­ries to be cau­tious.

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