A Queensland mother is warning others after her six-year-old daughter was rushed to hospital after she ate a strawberry with a needle in it.
Sophie Mitchell, from Cairns, bought a punnet of strawberries from Coles in Earlville when her daughter Madison took a bite on Monday night.
Posting about the incident on Facebook, Ms Mitchell was urging others to remain vigilant.
“Everyone be aware Madison was up at emergency tonight after eating a strawberry with a needle in it,” she wrote.
Others were shocked by the incident, which bears a similarity to the crisis of needles in the fruit across Australia in 2018.
“What a despicable thing to do. As if Australian businesses aren't doing it tough already? The poor bub. Hope she's on the mend. People, PLEASE keep buying strawberries ... just cut them up before serving?” one commented on the post.
“Not again,” another said.
“Heinous crime,” a third added.
Ms Mitchell told 7News her daughter alerted her to the discovery in the strawberry after she was pricked by the needle.
“I grabbed it out of her mouth straight away and had a look,” she said.
Ms Mitchell added she had a three-year-old son who would have likely swallowed it.
Yahoo News Australia has contacted Coles for comment, but a spokesperson told 7News the supermarket had confirmed with the family the young girl was OK.
Queensland Police told Yahoo News the matter was under investigation.
In 2018, Australian strawberry growers were rocked as police across the country investigated more than 100 reports of fruit being contaminated with needles and other objects.
Many of the reports were found to be fake or copycat incidents, but the scare prompted the federal government to rush through tougher penalties for so-called “food terrorists”.
It caused an eight per cent produce loss to the industry, worth about $12 million.
The industry also received a $1 million relief package, including $350,000 to invest in tamper-proof containers, marketing and training.
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