Reward offered for information on strawberry needles in Australia
The government of Queensland in Australia has offered a reward of 100,000 Australian dollars (about 71,510 US dollars) for information after reports of sewing needles or pins found in strawberries in two Australian states.
"Whoever is behind this is not just putting families at risk across Queensland and the rest of Australia – they are putting an entire industry at risk," Queensland Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk said in a statement.
The Queensland Health Department issued a health alert in response to the contamination on Wednesday, advising consumers to cut up strawberries before eating them.
The police have also launched an investigation, and suspect the needles were deliberately planned "obviously to injure somebody."
Contaminated strawberries were also found in the state of New South Wales, but local police said they didn't know whether the same suspect or a copycat is responsible.
"I would urge anyone with information that may be relevant to this incident in any way to contact police as soon as possible," Palaszczuk also said in the statement.
As the strawberry needle scare widens, a New Zealand supermarket chain Foodstuffs has also stopped selling Australian strawberries in the latest blow to the industry.
"This is food terrorism that is bringing an industry to its knees," said Strawberries Australia Inc Queensland spokesman Ray Daniels.
(Cover: A handout photo from Queensland Police, Australia.)