Australians Alarmed After Needles Repeatedly Found In Strawberries

Australians Alarmed After Needles Repeatedly Found In Strawberries

Strawberries have been stripped from supermarket shelves and growers are dumping tonnes of their crop as police in Australia hunt for an individual putting sewing needles in the fruit.

The Australian government has ordered a federal investigation into the contamination of strawberries with needles and pins, as police reported incidents in two more Australian states.

"Someone is trying to sabotage the industry but also in doing that, they are putting babies' and children's and families' lives at risk", Queensland Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk said at a news conference last week.

"I'm angry for all the associated people, it's the farmers, the people who supply them, the packaging people, the truckies with families to support, who suddenly lose their jobs ... it's far-reaching", Schultz said.

A spokeswoman for Coles told news.com.au the supermarket giant was working with police and other authorities to investigate all of the incidents.

It comes as New Zealand food distributors removed Australian strawberries from their shelves as a precaution, further adding to the devastation caused by the unidentified culprit.

Woolworths and Coles are complying with the recall and have put notices up in stores advising customers to cut up their strawberries, amid growing calls for supermarket operators and managers to check their own stock.

A $100,000 reward has been posted to catch Queensland's strawberry spiker, as the food sabotage scandal continues to spread.

It's not totally clear whether the incidents are all connected, or whether some are copycats.

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WA-based grower Mal's Black Label strawberries, based in Gingin, 70 kilometres north of Perth, had been drawn into the crisison Sunday when two of their punnets were found containing needles in supermarkets in South Australia.

The report came after a seven-year-old girl in South Australia state found a needle in a Western Australia-grown strawberry on Saturday.

THE Queensland Health Department has confirmed a strawberry contaminated by a sewing needle has been discovered in Tweed Heads.

Anyone who finds a needle inserted in their strawberry is urged to call police or take it to their local police station for forensic examination.

He said other growers were being forced to do the same, with others cutting back on staff following the strawberry contamination.

Angela Stevenson said she cut into metal and then realised she had given her son strawberries for his packed lunch.

She said they were from a punnet of Delightful Strawberries.

Queensland chief health officer Dr Jeanette Young has advised consumers to take care when consuming the fruit.

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