50-Year-Old Woman Charged Over Strawberry Contamination

Police have charged a woman over the strawberry needle contamination scandal that saw truckloads of fruit dumped, punnets recalled, and supermarkets forced to throw out their supplies.

UPDATE: The 50-year-old woman was charged on Sunday evening following a "complex investigation", Queensland Police said.

She has been charged with seven counts contamination of goods under Section 238 Criminal Code, which has a three year maximum penalty.

"In addition, a circumstance of aggravation will be alleged, elevating the maximum to 10 years imprisonment," police said in a statement.

Queensland Police announced on Sunday afternoon that a 50-year-old woman had been arrested in relation to the discovery of sewing needles in strawberry punnets in September.

News of the contamination sparked a nationwide crisis, leading to the dumping of untold numbers of crops as supermarkets threw out stocks and customers refused to buy the fruit.

A needle allegedly found in a strawberry in September

"The QPS coordinated a national investigative response with multiple government, law enforcement and intelligence agencies," police said in a statement.

"A police taskforce was established with officers from the State Crime Command coordinating the investigation together with detectives in a number of police districts in Queensland."

Another needle allegedly found in a punnet.

Police were not able to immediately confirm any more details about the woman, such as where she was arrested.

"The woman is expected to be charged this evening and appear in the Brisbane Magistrates Court [on Monday]," police said.