'Dreadful Act': More Brands Recalled, $100K Reward Offer

Andrew Cummings
September 16, 2018

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

"We really need the WA public to support local growers, because if they don't buy our strawberries, many may not be able to put in crops next year", he said.

The needles were discovered in three strawberries in a single punnet, which a customer had bought from Coles in Engadine in Sydney's south.

Consumers have been urged to cut up their strawberries before eating.


A fresh report of a contamination in Townsville is being investigated, Queensland police said, following instances elsewhere in the state. "It is simply unacceptable".

A $100,000 reward has reportedly been offered for information leading to the arrest and conviction of Australia's strawberry spikers, amid fears up to six brands may have been contaminated with needles and pins. "I am furious about this".

NSW Police said in a statement late Friday that it is unknown if the contamination is related to the original Queensland incident or a copycat as the products have yet to be forensically examined.

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


This week, Jamie Michael, head of the Western Australian Strawberry Growers Association, told the Australian broadcaster that the needle incidents have come at peak strawberry-selling season, disrupting the market at a particularly inconvenient time. You've got more chance of winning lotto than being affected'.

Punnets supplied by three brands have been recalled from supermarket shelves although New South Wales Police said they believed a further three brands may be affected. A number of grocers have removed the berries from their shelves.

"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.

'This is food terrorism that is bringing an industry to its knees, ' Strawberries Australia Inc Queensland spokesman Ray Daniels said.


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