Australian state offers $98450 reward over strawberries sabotaged with needles

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It's a crime so odd that any motive seems almost inconceivable.

"These further instances are cases in which needles have been found within the strawberries and people have gone to eat them, have cut them up and found the needles".

"This is putting families' lives at risk and it's also putting the strawberry industry at risk ..."

A fresh report of a contamination in Townsville is being investigated, Queensland police said, following instances elsewhere in the state.

A Queensland man posted this photo of a strawberry with a needle in it after reporting his friend swallowed one.

The Queensland Government has put out a $100,000 reward for information that leads to the arrest of the culprit behind the contamination of the strawberries.

A health warning to throw out or cut up strawberries remains in Queensland, New South Wales, Victoria and South Australia as authorities hunt those responsible. "It is simply unacceptable, I am furious about this".

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Prices for strawberries dropped to unbelievable lows in the lead-up to the decision by Coles and Aldi.

"With strawberries you need to continue picking them", he told ABC.

According to NSW Police six brands are have now been recalled nationally, "Berry Obsession", "Berry Licious", and "Donnybrook Berries", with "Love Berry", "Delightful Strawberries", and "Oasis" added on Friday. "If you stop picking them for a few days then they stop producing fruit, so we're trying to weather out this storm and hope that things get better, but to do that it's costing". "It is a very, very broad picture and we can't speculate in any way, shape or form", said Terry Lawrence, Queensland acting chief superintendent.

On Thursday, the Queensland Strawberry Growers Association said it had "reason to suspect" a former employee was responsible but police are still investigating.

Health officials have urged people purchasing the fruit to be cautious.

Two major supermarkets have pulled their entire strawberry supply from the shelves in most states and territories following the discovery of needles in a number of the fruit.

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