Australia orders probe into needles hidden in strawberries

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Canberra : Australian authorities on Mondayordered an investigation into the discovery of sewing needles hidden in strawberries, amid growing alarm over scares across the country.

Contaminated baskets of strawberries have now been reported in six states and territories, the BBC reported.

One man has been hospitalised after eating a strawberry that held a needle.

Several brands have been recalled, while a major New Zealand grocer said that it had stopped selling imported strawberries as a precaution.

Australian Health Minister Greg Hunt ordered the Food Safety Authority of Australia and New Zealand to investigate the scare.

"This is a very vicious crime and it's a general attack on the public," he told the media on Monday.

Cases of fruit tampering were first reported in Queensland state last week, before spreading to New South Wales, Victoria, the Australian Capital Territory, South Australia and Tasmania.

The Queensland state government has offered a A$100,000 ($72,000) reward for information.

Published : Monday, September 17, 2018 09:30 [IST]
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