ABC Brisbane

Authorities Arrest Woman In Connection To Australia's Needle-Filled Strawberries Crisis

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.




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.



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.




It is unknown at this time if the woman will be released on bail.

H/T: Australian Broadcasting Company, BBC

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