Man reportedly eats strawberry with needle inside, police confirm 4 'contamination' incidents

Australians have been warned to cut open fresh strawberries before biting into them after multiple customers reported finding sewing needles hidden inside.

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The six Australian brands which have so far been affected are Berry Obsession, Berry Licious, Donnybrook labels, Love Berry, Delightful Strawberries and Oasis.

Both Foodstuffs and Countdown (owned by Woolworths) - which between them control almost the entire New Zealand grocery market - today announced they had stopped sending out Australian strawberries to their stores.

On Monday, New Zealand company Foodstuffs - which supplies about half of the country's supermarkets - said it had stopped importing Australian strawberries due to the scare.

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Queensland Police Commissioner Ian Stewart confirmed officers were "following leads" in relation to the matter at a press conference in Brisbane on Monday. "The contamination relates to what appears to be needles inserted in strawberries".

Australian Health Minister Greg Hunt has ordered the national food safety watchdog to assess the states' handling of strawberry contamination.

The discovery came as Coles and Aldi supermarkets pulled all strawberries from their shelves, except Western Australia, as a precaution.

New Zealand imports the fruit from Australia when it's out of season, from April to September, and both chains say the Kiwi product will be on shelves shortly instead.

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

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One man was taken to hospital after eating a strawberry with a needle inside.

"All relevant information is being collated in each state and provided to Queensland authorities to assist with their ongoing investigation".

Initially three incidents in Queensland had been reported to police on Thursday.

"The low-life scum who think it's somehow amusing to chuck needles in strawberries I think should be chucked in jail as soon as they're identified", Mr Broad said.

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