NSW Police Make Arrest In Connection To Strawberry Needles

Needle found in strawberry purchased from Foodland in Jamestown South Australia

Needle found in strawberry purchased from Foodland in Jamestown South Australia

Across the country, shoppers had reported finding needles or pins in packages of strawberries bought from supermarkets.

It is understood the case is unrelated to the strawberry issue.

He said that while police have primary responsibility, the federal agency is investigating "whether there are supply chain weaknesses".

Prime minister Scott Morrison has asked the attorney-general to consider raising the penalty for the crime of food contamination from 10 to 15 years, in a move created to deter further tampering with fresh fruits.

"The consequences are dire, it's a hazardous action that's happening by whoever's perpetrating it".

"It's an act of treachery on the community of NSW and across the nation".

Growers and police have suggested that some cases may be copycat incidents.

In a statement released on Wednesday night, the association said it had "reason to suspect" it was a former employee and was waiting on more information from Queensland Police.

Australia's banking industry said it is willing to offer financial assistance to affected farmers.

Mr Morrison said he has met with strawberry growers, who should be in peak picking season and reaping the benefits of their hard work but instead are facing financial ruin.

The value of Queensland strawberries for 2017-18 is forecast to be $160 million.

"The simple point here is that on a larger scale, sabotage has been recently conceived to include sabotage of infrastructure that allows for the provision of electricity or water to Australian citizens, because they are essential to our citizens wellbeing and therefore our national security", he said.

"I urge those banks to act responsibly and with compassion".

Her government is offering a Aus$100,000 (US$71,500) reward for any information that leads to the capture and conviction of those responsible.

Suppliers dump fruits amid contamination crisis.

Other politicians went further, publicly calling out the perpetrators.

The Queensland Government has confirmed the alleged incident was mental health-related.

Mr Calle said major Victorian growers were installing metal detecting equipment to test their strawberries during the coming harvest.

Growers have resorted to using metal detectors in an effort to stop anyone being hurt.

Canning Vale market agent Allstates Farms paid $30,000 for the device which local farmers hope will help the crippled industry.

"It means people can buy these strawberries with confidence".

The report came after a 7-year-old girl in South Australia state found a needle in a Western Australia-grown strawberry on Saturday.

"The father took the strawberries to the store in Littlehampton, reported it to the manager, who in turn advised that the matter should be reported to police".

He said police were still interviewing the people involved.

"I showed my dad and that's when he discovered the needle was inside".

Consumers in Queensland had been told to return or discard packages of strawberries after a customer was rushed to a hospital for swallowing part of a needle in a strawberry.

Reports of contaminated strawberries have also surfaced in the neighboring state of New South Wales, but police say they do not know if the same person or a copycat is responsible.

"Berry Licious, Berry Obsession, Donnybrook, Oasis and Love Berry branded strawberries have been withdrawn from shelves as a precautionary measure", the spokeswoman said.

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