Published: Thu, September 20, 2018
Global News | By Stacy Ballard

Boy arrested for putting needles in strawberries

Boy arrested for putting needles in strawberries

"It's such a shame. It's not on. We can't put up with it".

Both of New Zealand's biggest supermarket have halted Australian strawberry orders even though New Zealand's Ministry of Primary Industries has confirmed none of the contaminated strawberry brands has made it on to shop shelves.

Strawberries being dumped in WA.

Queensland Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk also announced the establishment of a $1 million fund to assist Queensland's strawberry farmers.

But while authorities across the affected states work to find the people responsible for the interfered-with fruit, the Guardian reports the contamination scare has spread, and that all states could now be affected.

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Queensland Police Commissioner Ian Stewart said the investigation was complicated by the vast web of supply chains involved in producing and shipping strawberries."There is a range of really complex scenarios which could play out here, and we're looking at all of them, and that's what's taking the time", he said. A small amount of the crop is also consumed in New Zealand.

"The food waste associated with this matter is significant and has been unavoidable", Aldi said in a statement.

"It is costing us a lot of money".

"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.

BUT - while there is real concern that people play it safe with strawberries, it's important to remind everyone that you can still eat them, just be vigilant and cut them up into small pieces.

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The needles, originally found in strawberries produced from one supplier in the northern state of Queensland, are now turning up around the country.

Despite the major setback and fears of copycat sabotaging Ms Chheang remains confident her family and the rest of the industry can overcome it. The local police were informed, have visited the school, and are investigating. "It's not amusing. You are putting the livelihoods of hard-working Australians at risk and you are scaring children", he said.

"I would urge anyone with information that may be relevant to this incident in any way to contact police as soon as possible".

Queensland Strawberry Growers Association vice president Adrian Schultz said the act of "commercial terrorism" has severely hurt the multimillion-dollar industry.

"This isn't amusing in any way", Mr Colvin said. "He's buggering the community and destroying the wider industry". "The media is giving too much air for what it is", he said.

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"Make a pav this weekend and put strawberries on it", he suggested.

One thing is for sure, these needles have brought the Australian strawberry to its knees. "It's a criminal act".

"I can't tell you how disgusted I am, also in the fact that they are fabricating evidence", he said.

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