HEALTH authorities have issued a statement reassuring West Aussies that local strawberries remain safe after South Australia became the latest state to pull the fruit from supermarket aisles.
Queensland Health alerted South Australia’s health department Friday afternoon advising Donnybrook-branded strawberries had become the third brand of strawberries linked to the contamination.
While no cases of contaminated strawberries have been detected in South Australia, health authorities issued an immediate recall. It comes after a New South Wales woman found needles in a punnet of strawberries she claims she bought from a Coles supermarket on the NSW mid-north coast on Tuesday.
A WA Department of Health spokeswoman said it had been advised none of the affected product had been consigned to WA.
“The recent food safety warnings and product recalls around strawberries on the east coast of Australia do not apply to Western Australia,” she said.
“The Department of Health WA has been advised that none of the affected product has been consigned to WA and therefore product on local supermarket shelves is considered safe.”
Earlier this week sewing needles were found hidden inside strawberries sold at Woolworths, sparking a recall of two brands that had been sold in Queensland, NSW and Victoria.
Police launched an investigation on Sunday after a Queensland man reported swallowing a contaminated berry.
“I found a needle, bit into it by accident and it snapped in half – or what felt like it snapped in half – and my knee jerk reaction was to swallow,” the man told 7 News.
“I found the other half of the needle in the strawberry. I was in complete shock.”
Since then there have been five other cases in Queensland, NSW and Victoria.
The Queensland Strawberry Growers Association believes a disgruntled farm worker may be responsible but police say they are investigating all aspects of the strawberry transit process.
On Thursday Queensland police announced they were investigating a suspected copycat incident after a metal rod was discovered on top of strawberries inside a plastic punnet at a Coles in Gatton.