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

Stocks of strawberries have been replaced

Image Police have warned the contamination may have spread to six brands of strawberries

Queensland Police are now heading an investigation aimed at tracking down the source of the needles.

"As a precaution, Coles is also withdrawing all brands and sizes of Queensland grown strawberry punnets from sale in Coles Supermarkets in all states (except Western Australia), in Coles Express stores and via Coles online", they said in a statement.

Among the reports cited by the BBC are a 9-year-old boy who's said to have bit into a strawberry with a needle (he didn't swallow it) and a 21-year-old man who reportedly went to the ER after he ingested half a needle and experienced "severe abdominal pain".

Authorities in Australia on Thursday said they had four confirmed incidents of "contaminated strawberries" after an individual reportedly discovered a needle inside a berry after taking a bite. He is being assessed by medics but his condition is not known.

Punnets supplied by three brands have been recalled from supermarket shelves although New South Wales Police said they believed a further three brands may be affected.

South West grower and market agent Paul Da Silva, from Grower Connect, said the wholesale price had fallen 50 to 70 per cent, compared with a week ago, even though WA had not imported strawberries from Queensland for a decade.

Police have urged consumers who have bought an affected punnet to take it to police for forensic examination.

Young advised residents that all strawberries, regardless of brand, should be cut before they're eaten.

"The most frustrating thing for us is there is no reason for WA consumers to be concerned or to avoid eating WA strawberries, given the incident happened 3000km away and appears to be the work of a disgruntled employee", he said.

Police say they do not yet have a suspect but are attempting to identify the source.

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