Thursday, 20 September, 2018

Australian state offers US$70000 reward as strawberries sabotaged with needles

Australians warned to cut up strawberries after people report finding needles inside Warning over needles in strawberries
Laurie Berry | 15 September, 2018, 17:11

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

"These brands are believed to be sold in stores in New South Wales, Queensland, Victoria, and the Australian Capital Territory", the statement said.

A Queensland man posted this photo of a strawberry with a needle in it after reporting his friend swallowed one.

NSW Police and Queensland Police are investigating whether the latest needles found in strawberries are the work of a copycat, or related to the original incidents.

South West grower and market agent Paul Da Silva, from Grower Connect, said the wholesale price had fallen 50 to 70 per cent, compared with a week ago, even though WA had not imported strawberries from Queensland for a decade.

The Queensland premier, Annastacia Palaszczuk, has issued the reward over concerns for growers as well as consumers.

Mother and baby among dead as Hurricane Florence lashes United States coast
It was expected to begin pushing its way westward across SC later in the day, in a watery siege that could go on all weekend. His mom remembers Hurricane Hazel, when the water did not rise as high as his fifth step, where it was Thursday night.

"The suspected copycat incident, reported at a supermarket in Gatton, involves the discovery of a thin metal object in a punnet of strawberries", police said.

"We really need the WA public to support local growers, because if they don't buy our strawberries, many may not be able to put in crops next year", he said.

"As a precaution, Coles is also withdrawing all brands and sizes of Queensland grown strawberry punnets from sale in Coles supermarkets in all states [except Western Australia], in Coles Express stores and via Coles online".

"We've got to look at this as a whole, it's a very, very broad picture and we can't speculate in any way, shape or form", Queensland Acting Chief Superintendent Terry Lawrence told reporters on Friday. "Regretfully, preventing random acts of extremism, sabotage and simple maliciousness from people with a grudge appears to be an increasing challenge across our society".

She said the punnets were both Delightful Strawberries-branded products.

He said retailers had heavily discounted prices, but that was not helping move enough stock.

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