Six strawberry brands recalled as $100,000 reward offered to catch needle saboteur

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

It's a crime so odd that any motive seems almost inconceivable.

"Until advised, consumers should cut up strawberries before consuming them", Queensland state government said in a statement.

The ABC said Saturday wholesale prices had fallen by half to 50 Australian cents per punnet, below the cost of production.

"Coles will be working with growers and suppliers to offer support and will ensure that when supply recommences all strawberry punnets are fully inspected before they are sent to supermarkets".

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

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

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. "I am furious about this".

Strawberry prices have dropped around the country.

"With strawberries you need to continue picking them", he told ABC. You've got more chance of winning lotto than being affected'.

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.

He said unless confidence and sales recovered quickly, growers would have to leave strawberries on the ground to rot.

"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.

Two major supermarkets have pulled their entire strawberry supply from the shelves in most states and territories following the discovery of needles in a number 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.

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