Australia's Queensland on the hunt for strawberry saboteurs using needles

Australians warned to cut up strawberries after people report finding needles inside

"This is putting families' lives at risk and it's also putting the strawberry industry at risk", she said.

Coles says it is withdrawing all brands of Queensland grown strawberry punnets from shelves across the country, except in Western Australia.

Police began looking into the potentially unsafe berries after a Facebook user on Saturday wrote that their friend took a bite of a strawberry and ate "half a sewing needle", according to the Palm Beach Post.

Australians have been warned to cut fresh strawberries before biting into them after several people found sewing needles hidden inside the fruit. The Australian newspaper reported that there have been at least seven reported cases in three Australian states, raising concerns that copycats are working separately to contaminate the berries.

Among the reports cited by the BBC are a 9-year-old boy who's said to have bit into a strawberry with a needle (he didn't swallow it) and a 21-year-old man who reportedly went to the ER after he ingested half a needle and experienced "severe abdominal pain".

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The Queensland Government has put out a $100,000 reward for information that leads to the arrest of the culprit behind the contamination of the strawberries. "It is simply unacceptable, I am furious about this".

The incidents have been piling up, with contaminated strawberries found with needles purchased at supermarkets in Queensland, NSW and Victoria.

"With strawberries you need to continue picking them", he told ABC.

On Friday, six brands of strawberries were flagged as potentially affected by the sabotage. You've got more chance of winning lotto than being affected'. A number of grocers have removed the berries from their shelves. "It is a very, very broad picture and we can't speculate in any way, shape or form", said Terry Lawrence, Queensland acting chief superintendent.

"How could any right-minded person want to put a baby or a child or anybody's health at risk by doing such a awful act?" she asked.

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