Woman Caught Putting Needle Into Banana In Kids Free Fruit Section

Freshly picked Albion strawberries are shown for sale at the roadside vegetable stand at Chino Farm in Rancho Santa Fe California

NSW Police reported on Friday that six strawberry brands were embroiled in the needle recall across Queensland, Victoria and NSW, but over the weekend punnets purchased in South Australia and Tasmania were found to also be sabotaged.

"Queensland Health has advised people should cut up strawberries before consuming them".

A man told police in York, Western Australia he had found a needle in the sink after washing a punnet of strawberries.

These frightening incidents have put regional growers on edge and they are forcing them to weigh up their farming futures as the strawberry contamination crisis forces New Zealand's major supermarkets to stop selling the fruit from Australia.

In a statement released to the Tweed Daily News, Queensland's chief health officer Dr Jeannette Young said three more cases of contaminated needles were found in Tweed Heads, Redbank Plains and Everton Park in Brisbane.

The Queensland strawberry industry is valued at about Aus$160 million (US$114 million).

Federal Health Minister Greg Hunt described it as a "vicious crime" and ordered the national food safety watchdog to assess the states' handling of the contamination.

This is a $160-million industry to Queensland... and someone is trying to sabotage the industry but also in doing that, they are putting babies' and children's and families' lives at risk.

"None of the strawberries on our shelves come from the areas affected by this issue in Australia, however as an extra precaution Countdown is not importing any further strawberries from Australia".

Hurricane Helene heading towards the United Kingdom , bringing chances of gale force winds
Some regions are expected to receive more than 20 inches of rain from the hurricane and its giant knot of storm clouds. Nevertheless, a Flood Watch was issued late this morning, as cloudy skies loomed and heavy rains drenched some areas.

Foodstuffs and Countdown, which are owned by Woolworths and control almost the entire New Zealand grocery market, on Monday announced they had stopped sending out Australian strawberries to their stores.

Authorities have warned people to slice the fruit before eating with seven brands of strawberries in the country now believed to be contaminated.

It is now believed the contamination may affect six brands of strawberries: "Berry Obsession", "Berry Licious", "Love Berry", "Donnybrook Berries", "Delightful Strawberries", and "Oasis".

No brands in New Zealand are affected by the recall.

The Queensland state government has offered a A$100,000 (£55,000; $72,000) reward for information.

Some have urged the public to continue purchasing the fruit to support the industry.

The Queensland Strawberry Growers Association said last Thursday that the perpetrator could be one of its disgruntled former employees, according to The Australian.

"This here is a video of our strawberries being dumped, this here is worth more then you could ever imagine and within 3 days we lost it all".

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