Australians told to chop strawberries as police investigate needles found in fruit


One of the cases involved a man who had eaten a strawberry with a needle inside.

The Queensland government is now offering a $100,000 reward for any information that will help police catch those behind the strawberry needle sabotage scandal.

Australians have been warned to cut open fresh strawberries before biting into them after multiple customers reported finding sewing needles hidden inside.

"Until advised, consumers should cut up strawberries before consuming them", Queensland state government said in a statement. "It is simply unacceptable".

ABC reported that as consumers have shied away from purchasing the fruit over fears it will be contaminated with needles, farmers have ended up throwing out mass quantities of the strawberries they can't sell.

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Prices for strawberries dropped to unbelievable lows in the lead-up to the decision by Coles and Aldi. "If you stop picking them for a few days then they stop producing fruit, so we're trying to weather out this storm and hope that things get better, but to do that it's costing".

The Berry Obsession, Berry Licious, Donnybrook Berries, Love Berry, Delightful Strawberries and Oasis brands of strawberries are believed to be affected, according to the police, who said the contaminated fruit appeared to have originated at a Queensland-based supplier.

The retailer's move is meant as a precaution, after needles were found in berries in Sydney and Townsville in Far North Queensland within a 24-hour period.

Amid the contamination, the Queensland Strawberry Growers Association on Wednesday said they suspected that the culprit was possibly a "disgruntled" former employee.

Queensland Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk told media on Saturday investigators were doing "everything they possibly can" to find those responsible for the tampering, and pleaded with the public to come forward if they knew any information.