Victoria Police have issued a statement urging witnesses to come forward, following multiple reports of needle-contaminated strawberries in Victoria.
This comes as a Melbourne father took to social media to alert community members of his step-daughter’s shocking discovery. His 30-year-old step daughter allegedly discovered a needle, or pin, in a strawberry on her birthday cake.
In a statement to The Brag, a spokesperson for Victoria Police said:
“Banyule Criminal Investigation Unit detectives are currently investigating two reports of food contamination in the Eltham and Fairfield areas. Police have been told a needle was located in a strawberry bought from a store in Fairfield on 25 August and reported to police on 10 September.
“Investigators have also been told of another needle in a strawberry, bought at an Eltham supermarket on 22 September and reported to police on 23 September.
“The community is reminded that anyone found to be contaminating food products can be charged with a serious indictable offence with penalties including up to 10 years in jail.
“Police are appealing for people to take care when consuming fruit and urging anyone with information to contact Crime Stoppers on 1800 333 000.”
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The stepfather of the 30-year-old woman from Eltham claims to have purchased the strawberries from a Coles supermarket in Eltham, 20km north-east of Melbourne.
“Long story short we are waiting on a reply from Coles, police were informed and have just returned from hospital with something else lodged in her throat, x-ray confirms nothing metal but something foreign from the strawberry,” the father explains.
“She’s in a lot of pain and discomfort and just keeping an eye on her arm.”
A representative for Coles commented, “Coles takes the safety of the food we sell seriously, and we have spoken to the customer to follow up their complaint.”
“We have worked with our strawberry suppliers to implement additional control measures to ensure strawberries are inspected before they are sent to supermarkets. We have notified the police and will follow up with our supplier to investigate the matter.”
Just last year, similar issues emerged, with a spate of needles being discovered throughout strawberries all over Australia. Following those incidents, one Queensland woman was charged with goods contamination offences.