Probe as Australia strawberries sabotaged with needles

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Queensland Police are now heading an investigation aimed at tracking down the source of the needles.

In Australia, someone is placing sewing needles inside strawberries - endangering those who eat them and sending panic across strawberry markets as prices plummet and government officials scramble to find a culprit. That includes Berry Obsession and Berry Licious strawberries.

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

A Queensland man posted this photo of a strawberry with a needle in it after reporting his friend swallowed one. He is being assessed by medics but his condition is not known.

Fruit sold under Berry Obsession, Berry Licious and Donnybrook brands have been affected, while New South Wales police warn fruit sold under the Love Berry, Delightful Strawberries and Oasis brands were inserted with needles by a possible copycat.

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.

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"The suspected copycat incident, reported at a supermarket in Gatton, involves the discovery of a thin metal object in a punnet of strawberries", police said.

"The most frustrating thing for us is there is no reason for WA consumers to be concerned or to avoid eating WA strawberries, given the incident happened 3000km away and appears to be the work of a disgruntled employee", he said.

Dr. Jeannette Young, Queensland's chief health officer, said the Donnybrook brand would be pulled from store shelves.

A police spokesman said that in this instance, there were no injuries as a result of the contamination.

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

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