Strawberries are flying off the shelves in Australia — but the reason isn’t so sweet.
Select strawberry brands have been taken from shelves all over Australia and New Zealand after needles started cropping up inside pieces of the fruit.
Public health authorities for Australia’s state of Queensland put out an alert stating it is safe to purchase the fruit from brands still on the shelves, but noted consumers should still take necessary precautions and check their strawberries before eating them.
The spiked pieces of fruit have sent at least one person to the hospital, a man who unknowingly swallowed half a sewing needle. A 7-year-old girl also discovered a needle, but was not injured.
See the video news report below:
A thin piece of metal was found in a container of strawberries, in Gladstone, Australia, in this photo released Sept.
“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.
Authorities have offered a $72,000 reward for information leading lead to the arrest of those responsible.
Above is a Facebook video posted with this description:
This is no doubt the worst thing to ever happen to my family. This here is a video of our strawberries being dumped, this here is worth more then you could ever imagine and within 3 days we lost it all. My mum Leena Lee Cufari and my step dad has worked years to build the empire they’re sitting on now, they put all their money and effort in to build such a successful business. They work hard to make the money for our family and to have these selfish individuals destroy it is just so upsetting. My mum works day through to the night, controlling the shed and her 250 employees, making sure her strawberries are packed to perfection. This will not stop my family from doing what they do best, if anything they’re going to do better. I thank everyone who supports us and all the other farmers who were affected by this horrible issue. We thank you from the bottom of our hearts ❤️
*** To everyone who does not know, this is due to the needle contamination. We have to throw them out because the markets wouldnt take our strawberries due to the needle scare.
** video produced from Donnybrook Berries
** Donnybrook berries will be adding precaution and putting in metal detectors and other safety equipment we can think of to give our consumers the best quality strawberries.
Queensland Strawberry Growers Association said it had “reason to suspect” the culprit to be a former employee and is working with Queensland Police Service to find the culprit, according to the Australian Broadcast Corporation.
Earlier this month, a 62-year-old woman was accused of planting a needle inside a banana. Queensland Police do not believe the banana incident is connected.
Source: NBC news