Contaminated strawberries, Queensland – update 1

Police are making inquiries into a suspected copycat incident as part of the investigation into the contamination of strawberries in Queensland., Queensland Police say>

The suspected copycat incident, reported at a supermarket in Gatton, involves the discovery of a thin metal object in a punnet of strawberries.

Acting Detective Chief Superintendent Terry Lawrence said this appeared to be a copycat incident, but police would always keep an open mind.

Police have released a photo in relation to the suspected copycat incident and continue to investigate it.

Investigators have also now confirmed a fourth contamination incident as having occurred in a punnet of strawberries.

The contaminated strawberries were identified by a customer in Gladstone.

Of the four confirmed incidents, two each are in Queensland and Victoria.

Inquiries to date indicate the contamination affects two brands of strawberries – “Berry Obsession” and “Berry Licious”.

It is understood the brands are sold in stores in Queensland, New South Wales, Victoria and the Australian Capital Territory.

Police have liaised with retailers to ensure that all stock is removed from sale.

The contamination relates to what appears to be needles inserted in strawberries.

Police are urging anyone who locates strawberries containing the needles to contact Policelink for further advice on 131 444.

Queensland’s Chief Health Officer Dr Jeannette Young said anyone who had Berry Licious or Berry Obsession strawberries at home should not use them. If you are in doubt of the brand, throw them out.

“For other brands, our advice is all strawberries should be cut up before they are eaten,” Dr Young said.

“Strawberries are a great fruit, and people should continue to buy them, but everyone should simply cut them up.”

If you have information for police, contact Policelink on 131 444 or provide information using the online form 24hrs per day.

You can report information about crime anonymously to Crime Stoppers.

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