Needle-filled strawberries were shipped out all over Australia and New Zealand, but the crisis was hopefully brought to a close with the arrest of a woman suspected of committing the crime.
While it sounds like a horrifying Halloween prank, the story actually begins in September. Small needles were discovered in the fruit, with a man being sent to the hospital after swallowing "half a sewing needle." Upon inspecting other strawberries, authorities discovered more needles. The needled fruit was discovered in shipments reaching as far out as New Zealand.
The health department for Queensland, Australia, issued a statement advising people to throw out their strawberries, as well as recalling punnets of the fruit.
People have been understandably upset.
@QldPolice They should make her eat them!— Ruben Dee (@Ruben Dee)1541924649.0
@QldPolice I hope the court system makes an example of her and gives her the maximum penalty under the law.— B. Humble (@B. Humble)1541925148.0
@QldPolice Send her to the lockholes!— Sir Liberal (@Sir Liberal)1541916209.0
@QldPolice And she should have to eat all of those berries everyone of them— Mark Sanders (@Mark Sanders)1541946175.0
While the investigators were sure the needles were placed intentionally and maliciously, they couldn't tell if the needles found their way in at the supplier, the store, or by someone close to the customer.
The 50-year-old woman arrested for the crime had worked for the farm, supervising the fruit pickers. The police tracked her down using DNA evidence recovered from the needles in the fruit.
People just want to know why.
@QldPolice I really hope they do a mini documentary on this case and how it was cracked!— 🕷🌸ΔudraΔuclair🌸🕷 (@🕷🌸ΔudraΔuclair🌸🕷)1541919425.0
@QldPolice Glad she was caught - now WHY— ruby (@ruby)1541943557.0
@QldPolice Wonder how they arrested her? Was she still putting needles in things and caught her in the act?— J Λ D Σ D (@J Λ D Σ D)1541929320.0
The strawberry industry in Australia is worth nearly $93 million in U.S. dollars. Because of this, the country raised the maximum prison term for fruit tampering to 15 years.
This crime is no joking matter. Unless you're on Twitter.
@QldPolice Lets hope the punnet-shment fits the crime— 🅼🅸🅲🅷🅰🅴🅻 (@🅼🅸🅲🅷🅰🅴🅻)1541921972.0
@QldPolice Berry nice! 👌— Bobbi Hansel (@Bobbi Hansel)1541925565.0
@QldPolice I hope she rots!— Alex Rosefur! 🍓💕😽💨🌈 (@Alex Rosefur! 🍓💕😽💨🌈)1541927451.0
@9NewsAUS Can the strawberry farmers ‘sew’ her for their damages??— Rajan (@Rajan)1541937078.0
It is unknown at this time if the woman will be released on bail.