Sewing needles have been inserted inside strawberries in Australia
Australian supermarket giant Woolworths has temporarily removed sewing needles from its shelves as the country faces a strawberry safety scare.
Last week, Australians were warned to cut fresh strawberries before biting into them after several people found sewing needles hidden inside the fruit.
Several strawberry brands have been pulled from stores across the country.
A country-wide investigation into the scare has since been launched amid growing public alarm.
The government has also said it will introduce stricter criminal penalties for anyone found to have been tampering with food.
Some strawberry farmers have said the public’s worries are being fuelled by hysteria.
But Woolworths said the safety of its customers was its top priority and that pulling sewing needles from its shelves across the country was a safety measure.
“We’ve taken the precautionary step of temporarily removing sewing needles from sale in our stores across the country,” the supermarket told the BBC.
Woolworths could not say for how long they would keep their sewing needles from sale.