& # 039; A very vicious crime & # 039;: Strawberry sabotage to be investigated by the food safety watchdog

Strawberry punnets at a supermarket in Sydney.

Health Minister Greg Hunt ordered the national food safety oversight body to evaluate how the state handles strawberry contamination.

It occurs when the police investigate allegations that sabotage with needles has been extended to six brands of strawberries in four states.

"This is a very vicious crime and it is a general attack on the public, and it is also an attack on a specific industry," he told reporters on Sunday.

Sydney hit with the first case of contaminated strawberries

A Coles supermarket in the Engadine suburb was forced to remove all the strawberries from the sale after it was discovered that a basket was contaminated with needles, confirmed the police of New South Wales.

The "Delightful" brand, originally from Queensland, is the last to be affected. & # 39; Berry Obsession & # 39 ;, & # 39; Berry Licious & # 39; and & # 39; Donnybrook Berries & # 39; They have been removed from the country. And the contamination can also affect the strawberry brands "Love Berry" and "Oasis".

Consumers have been told to cut their strawberries.

NSW police say it continues to maintain contact with retailers to ensure that all actions on the affected date have been removed from the sale.

$ 100,000 reward for information

The latest reports come at a time when Queensland police have yet to determine who is selling strawberries sold in the store with needles.

But they hope that a reward of $ 100,000 for information will lead to the capture of the guilty party or the perpetrators.

"Our investigation is ongoing, it is quite complex and quite large due to the itinerant nature of the employees in the industry," said Detective Superintendent Terry Lawrence.

"I will not go so far as to say that we have specific clues."

"If we can reduce it to a smaller geographic location and particular farms, that would be great for us."

Police in New South Wales warned that fruits sold under the brands Love Berry, Delightful Strawberries and Oasis had needles inserted by a possible impersonator.

A new pollution report is being investigated in Townsville, Queensland police said, after instances in other parts of the state.

But the authorities did not discourage consumers from buying strawberries.