Woolworths recalls strawberries after man allegedly swallows needle

Woolworths are recalling strawberries across Australia after reports a customer was rushed to hospital after allegedly swallowed a sewing needle.

So far three punnets of strawberries have been found with sewing needles hidden inside – one in Queensland and two others in Victoria.

The Queensland man who reported the contamination on Sunday was the only person known to have consumed the fruit with needles inside and was being assessed by doctors.

Two more cases in Victoria reported the contamination on Tuesday night, but had not eaten the strawberries.

Victoria Police said the punnets were found in Yarram and Ballarat.

The farm where the strawberries were sourced sells to stores in Queensland, NSW and Victoria.

A Woolworths spokesperson said the ’Berry Obsessions’ brand has been “temporarily withdrawn”  from shelves wherever they are supplied.

‘‘Woolworths takes food safety very seriously and we are looking into these claims with our supplier,’’  the supermarket said in a statement.

Queenslader Joshua Gane posted his friend’s ordeal to Facebook, along with a picture that shows a metal pin poking out of a strawberry.

He and his friend had the punnet of strawberries on Sunday afternoon from the Strathpine Centre Woolworths, about 20km north of Brisbane.

Queensland Acting Chief Superintendent Terry Lawrence from the State Crime Command said police believed the contamination was deliberate.

"[It's been done] obviously to injure somebody," he told the ABC.

"Police have spoken to the person who operates the farm and they are assisting us with our inquiries.”