Australia supermarket bans sewing needles amid strawberry panic

Sewing needles were taken off the shelves at a major Australian supermarket chain on Thursday amid a national panic over sharp objects being found inside strawberries and other fruit.

Police nationwide have received reports of more than 100 alleged incidents of pins and needles being found in fruit since the scare began in Queensland state earlier this month.

Most are thought to be pranks or jokes on social media, but at least two minors have been questioned by police for carrying out hoaxes.

Woolworths, one of the country’s big two supermarkets, announced that it had “taken the precautionary step” of temporarily withdrawing needles from sale, as police struggled to find the original culprit amid a spate of copycat episodes.

“The safety of our customers is our top priority,” the retailer said, without discussing further the reasons behind its decision.

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