Video of a Queensland strawberry grower dumping hundreds of kilograms of fruit has gone viral, coinciding with QLD Premier Annastacia Palasczuk’s announcement of a $1 million fund to help growers impacted by the sewing needle contamination scandal.
Taking to Facebook, Stephanie Chheang posted a video showing a dump truck offloading thousands of fruits into waste piles.
The wastage is the apparent result of her parents’ business, Donnybrook Berries, being forced to recall their products from supermarket shelves after the discovery of sewing needles in a select few punnets nationwide.
“This is no doubt the worst thing to ever happen to my family,” Chheang wrote on the post.
“This here is a video of our strawberries being dumped, this here is worth more then you could ever imagine and within 3 days we lost it all.”
Chheang said Donnybrook Berries will utilise metal detectors on their produce to ensure there is no contamination before the fruit next hits market stalls.
At time of writing, the video has been viewed nearly 1 million times – in less than a day.
This morning, Palaszczuk announced the state government will establish a $1 million fund to aid growers impacted by the crisis reestablish consumer confidence.
She said the “sabotage” of the state’s strawberry industry “is not just an attack on hard-working growers and workers, but it reaches into almost every home and school lunch box.”
Yesterday, Federal Health Minister Greg Hunt announced he asked the nation’s food safety watchdog to formally investigate the issue, which has seen sharp metal objects pop up in berries around the nation.
Consumers in Queensland, NSW, Victoria and South Australia are still advised to wash and cut up any berries before consumption, or to chuck them out.
With any luck, we won’t have to see too many more berries being wasted in the near future.