Aussie cops still trying to figure out who's putting needles in fruit

  • Aussie cops still trying to figure out who's putting needles in fruit

Aussie cops still trying to figure out who's putting needles in fruit

Foodstuffs has halted the distribution of Australian strawberries after sewing needles were found inside the fruit sold in supermarkets across the Tasman.

South Australian police meanwhile said that they were advising members of the public to check punnets of Mal's Black Label strawberries following a report of a needle found inside the fruit on Sunday morning.

"You are putting the livelihoods of hard-working Australians at risk and you are scaring children, and you are a coward and a grub".

"Strawberries were interfered with between the time they were packed and the time they were purchased", it said, also advising purchasers to cut their fruit in half before eating for "peace of mind". "And if you do that sort of thing in this country we will come after you, and we will throw the book at you".

Six brands - Berry Licious, Berry Obsession, Donnybrook, Oasis, Love Berry and Delightful Strawberries - have been recalled nationally as fresh cases of needles found in strawberries were reported in Western Australia and South Australia over the weekend.

"That's how seriously I take this", Mr Morrison said.

But anything can happen at the store level, a spokesman said, so the company is considering introducing improved packaging.

Australian Agriculture Minister Mark Furner met with farmers at Beerwah in Queensland on Monday night, and wrote to his federal, state and territory counterparts for support.

In the state of Queensland, where the scare is believed to have originated, the authorities have announced financial support for growers who have been forced to pulp their product.

"Whoever is behind this is not just putting families at risk across Queensland and the rest of Australia - they are putting an entire industry at risk", Premier and Minister for Trade Annastacia Palaszczuk said.

On Wednesday, ten cases of needle contaminations in strawberries are being investigated by Western Australia Police, as the national crisis escalates.

West Australian police confirmed on Wednesday they were investigating 10 claims, and the WA government is also offering a $100,000 reward.

The maximum sentence in the region for contaminating a food source is 10 years in prison.

The strawberry industry is worth A$160 million for the Queensland state, with farmers producing 60 million punnets of the fruit each year.

"Protect the public and keep them safe", Hunt told Australian Broadcasting Corp.

Stephanie Chheang says her mother and stepfather work for Donnybrook Berries - one brand affected by the scare that was on Friday pulled from Australian shelves.

She said they would be working closely with police in their investigation and urged customers to cut the fruit as a safety precaution.