Health Minister Greg Hunt has ordered Australia’s peak food safety body to investigate the continual appearance of sewing needles in the nation’s strawberries, marking the latest escalation in the battle between folks who want a tasty, fruity treat and those hellbent on being absolute dickheads.
In a tweet posted this morning, Hunt said he has ordered Food Standards Australia New Zealand to launch an investigation into the matter.
I have ordered the Food Standards Australia New Zealand to investigate the handling of strawberry contamination.— Greg Hunt (@GregHuntMP) September 17, 2018
I urge all Australians be vigilant for potential contaminants.https://t.co/bakhCBh51X
The announcement comes a week after berries purchased in Queensland were first found to be laced with the needles, and days after spiked berries were identified in South Australia and New South Wales, igniting fears that someone out there may be mimicking the initial contaminator.
The disconcerting discovery of the needles has already prompted widespread recalls across Australia, with Berry Obsession, Berry Licious and Donnybrook Berries ripping their products from supermarket shelves.
A major New Zealand grocery distributor today revealed it too will halt deliveries of Aussie strawberries to stores as a precautionary measure.
Over the weekend, Queensland Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk announced her government is offering a $100,000 reward to anyone with information leading to the source of the contamination.
Hunt’s announcement marks the next serious step taken against whoever it is who first decided puncturing tiny fruits with sharp objects was an a-okay thing to do.
Until the culprit is identified, consumers have been advised to carefully cut and inspect their berries before eating, or simply to chuck them out. Play it safe, folks.
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Image: Queensland Police Service