Woolworths Pulls Sewing Needles From Shelves in Wake of Fruit-Tampering Scare

21 September, 2018, 08:12 | Author: Regina Silva
  • Thousands of strawberries are being left to rot in Queensland after needles were found buried within a few

The post comes after shoppers were urged to keep buying and eating strawberries, with defiant Aussies even taking to social media to show they aren't afraid of the needle contamination impacting the country's produce earlier this week.

Prime Minister Scott Morrison announced $1 million in assistance to the strawberry industry yesterday, in addition to the $1 million support package from the Queensland government.

Australia's agriculture minister, David Littleproud, has said the "parasites" responsible for spiking strawberries with needles "should swing for this" as the government rushes tough new laws into parliament on Thursday in an attempt to end the crisis.

The federal government will move to increase the penalties for tampering with fruit, introducing new legislation this week as the nationwide crisis over needles in food continues to grow amid what appears to be multiple copycat crimes.

Needles have been found in more than 20 punnets of strawberries across NSW in the past week after the fruit was first sabotaged in Queensland.

One young boy has already been arrested over behaviour that "could be called a prank", police said.

The Cairns woman said her daughter had just purchased a banana from a Woolworths at Redlynch and bitten into it before finding a metal object.

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"I'm just focused on making sure no idiot goes into a supermarket this weekend and does something ridiculous", Mr Morrison told reporters in Royalla in NSW.

A NSW schoolgirl has been caught up in a prank involving a needle in a strawberry. Now there are reports a needle was found inside a mango.

Under Section 13 of the Food Act 1983, any party involved in importing, distributing, storing or selling food containing toxic, damaging or harmful to health shall be liable to a fine not exceeding RM100,000 or a maximum imprisonment of 10 years or both, upon conviction.

His government has successfully raised the maximum prison sentence for fruit tampering from 10 to 15 years, with parliament passing the legislation on Thursday.

'It's not a joke, it's not amusing. "You are putting the livelihoods of hardworking Australians at risk, and you are scaring children".

'This is a shocking and cowardly thing for this individual and others who have jumped onto the bandwagon here to have engaged in'.

There have now been more than 100 reported cases of contaminated strawberries, although some are suspected to be hoaxes.

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