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

16 September, 2018, 13:24 | Author: Mary Valdez
  • Australians warned to cut up strawberries after people report finding needles inside

The ABC said Saturday wholesale prices had fallen by half to 50 Australian cents per punnet, below the cost of production.

Australia's industry development officer Jennifer Rowling said: "It's quite devastating for our growers - they're really upset about it, obviously, because this is their livelihood and someone has taken it upon themselves to do something really nasty".

On Friday, Australian police said in a statement that six brands could now be affected, though government officials on Saturday told reporters that only three brands have been recalled.

Queensland Health said in a Thursday tweet that "consumers should cut up strawberries before consuming them", even if they're not from one of the six named makers.

Reports out of three Aussie states have strawberry lovers checking their fresh fruit carefully.

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The strawberry industry in the state of Queensland is worth around US$93 million (NZ$142 million) annually, and the government there announced this week that it would offer a reward of A$100,000 for anyone with information about the culprit behind the odd attack on strawberries.

Farmers are pleading with consumers no to let this act of "food terrorism" damage the industry, and have urged people to continue buying berries and cut them up before eating as a precaution. "It is simply unacceptable, I am furious about this".

He says there is no link between the Donnybrook berry contamination and the Berry Obsession and Berry Licious cases. You've got more chance of winning lotto than being affected'.

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. "It is a very, very broad picture and we can't speculate in any way, shape or form", said Terry Lawrence, Queensland acting chief superintendent.

He said unless confidence and sales recovered quickly, growers would have to leave strawberries on the ground to rot.

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