Needles in strawberries scare spreads across Australia World News

Fresh ripe strawberries in boxes for sale at a market

Fresh ripe strawberries in boxes for sale at a market

Needles or pins have been found by consumers in six states and territories: NSW, Queensland, Victoria, South Australia, Tasmania and the ACT.

The Queensland Strawberry Growers' Association has suggested that the needles may have been placed inside the strawberries by a disgruntled employee, while other sources have claimed that some cases may be copycat incidents, but police said it is to early to speculate.

It was pretty serious for some people as one man had to be taken to hospital for emergency medical attention after swallowing part of a needle.

Queensland police are still working to find the perpetrators, and are "keeping a very open mind" as they interview more than 100 people to find suspects, according to Business Insider Australia.

Australia's prime minister on Wednesday demanded sentences of up to 15 years in response to a nationwide scare.

New Zealand (859 tonnes) was the second largest market for Australian strawberries in 2017/18 after the UAE (859 tonnes).

Health Minister Greg Hunt has ordered the national food safety watchdog to assess the states' handling of strawberry contamination.

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A A$1 million fund to support strawberry farmers brought to their knees by sabotage has been announced by Queensland's Premier, a day after the video was shared showing the damage done to the industry.

A man in the town of York reported to police that he found a needle in a sink after washing strawberries.

The ABC said Saturday wholesale prices had fallen by half to 50 Australian cents per punnet, below the cost of production.

Empty shelves, normally stocked with strawberry punnets, are seen at a Coles Supermarket in Brisbane, Australia, Sept. 14, 2018.

Authorities have warned people to slice the fruit before eating with seven brands of strawberries in the country now believed to be contaminated.

Australian politician Andrew Broad said: "I refuse to let some sicko wreck the income of our strawberries farmers [sic]".

A young boy has been arrested for putting sewing needles inside strawberries in New South Wales, Australia. The only problem is that no one knows at one point from the growers to store shelves the needles are being inserted, and until more information about this aspect becomes available, there's no clear way to solve the problem.

And politicians are urging Australian citizens to keep supporting the strawberry industry through the scare.

The newspaper said at least 15 cases of fruit tampering have been identified across the country, and detailed that a major strawberry supplier in WA had started using a metal detector in an attempt to reduce the impact on the $280 million strawberry industry.

Annastacia Palaszczuk announced the fund to help strawberry farmers cope with the recall of sabotaged strawberries.

"Police are confident no other products were contaminated in this alleged incident", the statement said.

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