A Cairns mum says her five-year-old daughter bit into a strawberry containing a needle, seemingly the latest in a long line of victims of the fruit contamination crisis.
Samantha Gray took to social media to show the needle found inside the strawberry, bought as part of a punnet from Coles in Edmonton on Thursday.
“Feeling like the world’s worst parent right now,” Ms Gray wrote on Facebook.
“I had all intentions of chopping them up before consuming.
“I did so with one for me and ate it.
“Bella has then helped herself when I wasn’t looking and bitten straight into it.”
Ms Gray said she called Coles Edmonton straight away and all stock has since been pulled from the shelves.
“IF YOU HAVE ANY AT HOME, CHOP STRAIGHT AWAY OR STORE UP HIGH OUT OF REACH OF CHILDREN,” Ms Gray wrote on Facebook.
This is the first reported case of strawberry contamination in Far North Queensland, but similar cases have been reported across the country, from Western Australia to Tasmania.
Authorities are warning people to cut into their fruit before consuming it, as farmers plead with consumers to keep supporting the industry.
The crisis has been made worse after a number of ‘copycat’ and prank cases were uncovered after police investigations.
While the strawberry industry looks for ways to restore customer confidence, consumers are coming up with new ways to ensure their fruit is safe to eat.
One South Australian-based vegan foodie suggested people pull out their old egg slicer to splice through strawberries before eating them.
Woolworths has taken the extraordinary measure of pulling sewing needles from its shelves in attempt to prevent copycat incidents.