Growers urge perspective on strawberry contamination

Strawberry contamination: Growers urge perspective on sewing needle risk

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FOOD TAMPERING: Strawberry growers are urging perspective after sewing needles were in found in fruit contained in three punnets.

FOOD TAMPERING: Strawberry growers are urging perspective after sewing needles were in found in fruit contained in three punnets.

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Strawberry growers are urging perspective after sewing needles were in found in fruit contained in three punnets.

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QUEENSLAND farmers are calling for perspective after news broke yesterday of strawberries contaminated with sewing needles.

Growcom chief advocate Rachel Mackenzie said at this stage only three punnets from two pack houses had been affected.

“Growcom is calling for some perspective on the situation,” Ms Mackenzie said.

“Queensland Health has advised that strawberries sold under any other brand other than the two in question - Berry Obsession and Berry Licious - and purchased after September 13 are safe to consume,” 

“If consumers still have concerns, we recommend they chop fruit in half first before consumption.”

Queensland Police has begun an investigation into the incident which affects two Sunshine Coast strawberry brands. Police are currently liaising with retailers to ensure all stock is removed from sale.

Intentionally contaminating or interfering with food is a crime under the Criminal Code Act 1899.

Ms Mackenzie said the contamination was not equivalent to a food safety scare, as the strawberries are fully traceable.

“At this stage, the contamination has been isolated to two Sunshine Coast strawberry brands,” she said.

“Queensland Police are working with retailers who supply the brands to have all contaminated stock removed from the supply chain.”

Ms Mackenzie said the best thing consumers could do was to continue to support growers.

“Fruit currently available for purchase is safe and we urge consumers to continue supporting the strawberry industry.”

RELATED STORY: ‘Strawberry tampering: $100,000 reward offered’.

RELATED STORY: ‘Woolworths recalls strawberries after man allegedly swallows needle’.

RELATED STORY: ‘Scientists discover sweet, folate rich strawberry’.

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