ibusinesslines.com
ibusinesslines.com November 17, 2018


$100k reward to catch those spiking strawberries with needles in Australia

16 September 2018, 04:43 | Kelvin Horton

It's a crime so unusual that any motive seems almost inconceivable.

Australian authorities earlier this week asked consumers to throw away strawberries bought from Woolworths Group if they bore the brand of Berry Licious or Berry Obsession, after three punnets were discovered to include fruit embedded with sewing needles.

ABC News reported on Saturday that wholesale prices have halved to 50 Australian cents per punnet below the cost of production in Western Australia, where strawberries crops are now peaking, with growers forced to dump tonnes of the fruit.

"Someone is trying to sabotage the industry but also in doing that, they are putting babies' and children's and families' lives at risk", Queensland Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk said at a news conference.

Mr Michael said strawberry growers made huge capital outlays to plant their crops, and now was a critical time of year for them to get some money back.

Among the reports cited by the BBC are a 9-year-old boy who's said to have bit into a strawberry with a needle (he didn't swallow it) and a 21-year-old man who reportedly went to the ER after he ingested half a needle and experienced "severe abdominal pain".


Prices for strawberries dropped to unbelievable lows in the lead-up to the decision by Coles and Aldi.

A Coles spokesperson told Starts at 60 that they have complied with Queensland Health's requests to remove affected strawberries from sale.

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.

"We are looking at points of the chain from growth all the way to distribution into the stores, we're keeping a very open mind", he said.

"How could any right-minded person want to put a baby or a child or anybody's health at risk by doing such a terrible act?" she asked.



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