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

Stocks of strawberries have been replaced

Image Police have warned the contamination may have spread to six brands of strawberries

Authorities in Australia on Thursday said they had four confirmed incidents of "contaminated strawberries" after an individual reportedly discovered a needle inside a berry after taking a bite.

"So far, NSW Police Force has received reports of contaminated strawberries purchased at supermarkets at Tweed Heads, Taree, and Wingham", NSW Police said in a statement.

Police asked anyone who finds a needle in their strawberries to take the punnet their local station.

Officers from the Sutherland Police Area Command were notified on Friday about the risky punnet of Delightful Strawberries, and seized it for their inquiries into what appears to be sabotage with a nationwide range.

Queensland Police Service, who have launched an investigation into the potentially hazardous findings, revealed that affected brands include "Berry Obsession" and "Berry Licious", according to an update on the agency's Facebook account.

South West grower and market agent Paul Da Silva, from Grower Connect, said the wholesale price had fallen 50 to 70 per cent, compared with a week ago, even though WA had not imported strawberries from Queensland for a decade.

Queensland premier Annastacia Palaszczuk is said to have issued the reward over concerns for growers as well as consumers.

Young advised residents that all strawberries, regardless of brand, should be cut before they're eaten. 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.

(From left) Queensland chief health officer Jeanette Young and Acting Chief Superintendent of state crime command Terry Lawrence address the media regarding the strawberry contamination.

A police spokesman said that in this instance, there were no injuries as a result of the contamination. "Regretfully, preventing random acts of extremism, sabotage and simple maliciousness from people with a grudge appears to be an increasing challenge across our society".

He said retailers had heavily discounted prices, but that was not helping move enough stock.

The product is now set to under-go forensic testing at the local police station and authorities work with the supermarket.

Latest News