Woolworths dumps needle sales after fruit contamination cases

20 Septembre, 2018, 17:48 | Auteur: Auguste Feret
  • NSW boy arrested for inserting needles in strawberries as prank

Tasmanians are being urged to cut up all fruit before eating after metal was found in a local apple in an apparent copycat of interstate needle contamination.

Braetop Berries strawberry farmer Aidan Young holds a strawberry as he poses amid strawberries he will destroy following a nationwide needle scare, on his farm in the Glass House Mountains in Queensland on September 20, 2018.

The federal government will increase from 10 to 15 years the maximum prison sentence for food tampering offences.

South Australian police meanwhile said that they were advising members of the public to check punnets of Mal's Black Label strawberries following a report of a needle found inside the fruit on Sunday morning.

"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.

Needles have been found inside strawberries in two more Australian states, police said on Monday, broadening a health scare that has caused supermarkets to recall brands and farmers to dump fruit amid the peak growing season.

The news follows Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison's warning to copycat perpetrators that they would face harsh penalties under the legislation he would introduce Thursday.

NSW boy arrested for inserting needles in strawberries as prank

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

"We've booked the hall in parliament for the day, we've paid the rent on it, and that means no one goes home until those bills are passed".

"A member of the public today presented at York Police Station to report his concerns that a needle had been in a punnet of strawberries", the Western Australian police said in a statement. "The full weight of the law should be thrown at people", Labor frontbencher Tony Burke told Sky News.

"The reality is that they should swing for this, they've got to do some time", he told ABC radio on Thursday morning.

"Stick it up these parasites by going into the supermarkets and buying strawberries", says Australia's Agriculture Minister David Littleproud.

The laws will not be retrospective, meaning the current offences will be prosecuted under the old laws of up to 10 years in jail. "The one thing that people can do better than government is go and buy strawberries". The state's strawberry picking season is expected to begin in the next six weeks, according to the premier.

NSW police have announced a $100,000 reward for information that leads to a conviction.

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