Aldi and Coles pull strawberries from shelves over needle fears

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One man has been taken to hospital after swallowing fragments and a nine-year-old boy reportedly found a needle while eating a strawberry, but did not swallow it.

Some Australians have posted photos on social media showing needles they found in their berries.

A fresh report of a contamination in Townsville is being investigated, Queensland police said, following instances elsewhere in the state.

They have yet to reveal possible motives but the Queensland Strawberry Growers Association said a disgruntled former worker might be responsible.

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.

An urgent recall was originally issued on Wednesday following the discovery of needles planted inside the fruit, with Queensland's Chief Health Officer Dr Jeannette Young advising anyone who has purchased strawberries from the Berry Liscious and Berry Obsession brands to dispose of their fruit immediately. "It is simply unacceptable, I am furious about this".

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A Coles supermarket in the suburb of Engadine has been forced to remove all strawberries from sale after a punnet was found to be contaminated with needles, NSW police have confirmed.

The statement added: "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". The broadcaster also said wholesale prices have dropped by around half. You've got more chance of winning lotto than being affected'.

"We are looking at points of the chain from growth all the way to distribution into the stores, we're keeping a very open mind", he said.

Health officials have urged people purchasing the fruit to be cautious.

This is a $160-million industry to Queensland... and someone is trying to sabotage the industry but also in doing that, they are putting babies' and children's and families' lives at risk.

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