Spiked strawberries found in the Tweed

The strawberry industry in Queensland Australia is suffering after needles were found in strawberries

The strawberry industry in Queensland Australia is suffering after needles were found in strawberries

Health officials in Queensland confirmed the Donnybrook strawberry supplier had been hit with three credible complaints, prompting a call for retailers to immediately remove the company's fruit from sale.

The scare had spread across the nation, with needles reportedly found in strawberries in all six Australian states.

"Whoever is behind this is not just putting families at risk across Queensland and the rest of Australia - they are putting an entire industry at risk", she said in a statement.

An update on the investigation was released amid what authorities said was thought to be a "copycat incident" and provided a photo in relation to it.

A spokesman for the Australian retail conglomerate Woolworths Group said its New Zealand supermaket chain Countdown would not place new orders with Australian growers.

However, police confirmed that the woman had mental health issues and said they were treating the act as an isolated incident, with no connection to any other food contamination investigations.

WA growers are warning that the spate of fruit-tampering cases, which had risen to at least 15 nationwide, could spell the end of the $280 million strawberry industry.

Contaminated strawberries have previously been found at a number of supermarkets in Queensland, New South Wales, Tasmania and South Australia.

The latest incidents reported were the discovery of needles in three strawberries in a single punnet.

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Six brands are affected, including Donnybrook Berries, Love Berry, Delightful Strawberries, Oasis, Berry Obsession and Berry Licious.

Punnets of strawberries sabotaged with needles have been found in seven Australian states and in New Zealand, according to authorities.

Strawberry punnets at a Sydney supermarket yesterday.

TONNES of strawberries are being dumped or going to waste around the country as the needle contamination scare threatens the future of the half-a-billion-dollar industry.

"People should obviously be cautious, but there should be no fear in consuming strawberry products".

Queensland chief health officer Dr Jeanette Young has advised consumers to take care when consuming the fruit.

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

They have yet to reveal possible motives but the Queensland Strawberry Growers Association said a disgruntled former worker might be responsible.

"The low life scum who think it somehow amusing to put needles in strawberries I think should be chucked in jail as soon as they're identified", Nationals MP Andrew Broad said.

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