Horror as a 10-year-old girl discovers a needle in a strawberry purchased from Woolworths

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Here we go again: Ten-year-old girl finds a needle in her strawberry in scenes reminiscent of fruit tampering scandal from three years ago

  • A mother says her daughter uncovered a needle after biting into a strawberry 
  • The strawberry was purchased from a Woolworths store in rural Queensland 
  • The incident is now under investigation but no other needles have been found
  • Tough new criminal penalties were introduced in 2018 over food tampering 

A mother has been left in shock after her 10-year-old daughter uncovered a needle inside a strawberry in scenes reminiscent of the 2018 food tampering scandal. 

Bec Callow, from Blackwater, Queensland, said her daughter Zoe called out ‘mum, there’s something in my strawberry’ after biting into the fruit on Monday night.

Ms Callow said she ‘immediately panicked’ after noticing a needle sticking out from the strawberry, fearing her daughter may have cut her mouth.

‘Was she okay? Did she bite it off? Did she cut her mouth? Were there more needles?,’ Ms Callow told CQ News.  

Queensland mother Bec Callow said her 10-year-old daughter bit into a strawberry on Monday night, only to discover a needle inside

Queensland mother Bec Callow said her 10-year-old daughter bit into a strawberry on Monday night, only to discover a needle inside

‘It’s a bit scary and horrendous to think we’re getting needles in strawberries.’ 

Ms Callow said she purchased two punnets of strawberries from the Woolworths store in Blackwater on April 8.

She used some strawberries to make a birthday cake for her husband and put the unused fruit in the freezer, which were then eaten by Zoe on Monday.

‘We’d been eating cake for days and we didn’t have an issue,’ Ms Callow said.  

Zoe was left uninjured and no other needles were found. Ms Callow said she contacted the Woolworths store after discovering the needle.    

A spokesperson for Woolworths told Daily Mail Australia: ‘We’re aware of a customer report of product tampering at our Blackwater store.

Ms Callow said she purchased a punnet of strawberries from the Woolworths store in Blackwater, Queensland (stock image)

Ms Callow said she purchased a punnet of strawberries from the Woolworths store in Blackwater, Queensland (stock image) 

‘We will assist Queensland police and food authorities with CCTV footage from the store to assist with their investigation.

‘We’ve also commenced our own investigation in line with our established food safety procedures.’

The discovery of the needle by Ms Callow is understood to be an isolated incident, with no other reported incidents.    

‘We’re unaware of any other reports of a similar nature at this time,’ the Woolworths spokesperson said. 

In 2018, tough new criminal penalties were passed in a bid to crack down on food tampering after dozens of needles were found in strawberries and other fruits including bananas and apples in a string of brazen copycat attacks. 

Anyone found guilty of contaminating food can face a maximum of 15 years in jail.

Australia’s strawberry growers were left devastated, with the food tampering scandal costing the industry millions of dollars after farmers were forced to dump the fruit by the truckload.

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