Food Recall: Sewing Needles in Strawberries

An urgent food recall was made on strawberries sold in Queensland, Victoria and New South Wales. Unless you have been a social media blackout, Iā€™m sure you would have heard about this story by now.

Health officials and Queensland police on Wednesday said sewing needles were hidden in at least three punnets of strawberries. These punnets were supplied to Woolworths from a southeast Queensland farm. The brands involved in this scandal are Berry Obsession and Berry Liscious.

Many more horrifying stories are appeared around social media. A man is now hospitalised for swallowing half a needle and a young mother who nearly fed her 12-month old and six-year-old strawberries with needles in it. Customers are advised to return these products to their local Woolworths for a full refund.

It is suspected that are disgruntled employee placed the needles in the product. However, it is uncertain t what stage in the picking and packing process the fruits were contaminated with needles.

A Strawberry Farmer’s Cry

This incident has horrifying consequences for farmers. It has already been a really tough year for strawberry farmers and this will only add to the hardship. Consumers naturally will stop buying strawberries (of any brand) out of fear and it could devastate the industry. As strawberry grower Adrian Schultz said, “There’s no needles in my strawberries ā€” they’re safe to eat, they’re very sweet ā€” it has nothing to do with me and I want nothing to do with it.”

If you run a food business, how can you keep your staff happy? As we can see, this can actually play a huge part in food safety! And what are ways you can make sure the strawberries you consumer are needle-free?

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