Fruit Contamination: Over 20 Cases In NSW Alone, No Demands Have Been Received
Police are investigating after a needle was found in a Woolworths apple.
The widening saga of contaminated fruit has now stretched to a third product, after a mother in Sydney's west claimed she had found a needle embedded in an apple purchased from a Woolworths supermarket.
Farmers are destroying their crops of strawberries after needles were found in berries in multiple states, while metal found in a banana in Queensland was dismissed yesterday as an isolated mental health incident.
On Tuesday, a Sydney mum reported a needle she found a needle in a pink lady apple purchased at a supermarket at The Ponds, near Blacktown in Sydney's west.
It comes after sewing needles were found in strawberries across several Australian states, prompting a mass recall of the product and one of New Zealand's two major food chains to stop stocking Australian products.
NSW Police confirmed to ten daily they were investigating the apple incident, while a Woolworths spokesperson said they were looking into the claims.
"We're aware of the customer report and understand police are investigating. The details have been referred to the authorities leading the response to this matter and we'll consult with them on next steps," the supermarket said.
NSW Police said on Wednesday the strawberry issue had spread to every state, with more than 20 incidents reported in NSW alone. Police said they had received reports of contamination of apples and bananas in western Sydney, in addition to strawberries.
Police said they had not narrowed down any suspects or received any demands from perpetrators. Officers have not ruled out the latest incidents being copycat-related, but said all reports would be investigated as genuine.
Police warned people against making false reports or engaging in copycat behaviour, saying cases would be treated as food contamination and could result in 10 years jail.
Health Minister Greg Hunt has ordered Food Safety Australia and New Zealand to investigate the strawberry issue, while the Queensland government has offered a $100,000 reward for information leading to an arrest.
It is believed the strawberries were contaminated by a disgruntled former employee.