The Australian strawberry scare, where there were over 100 reports of needles being found in supermarket fruit in Australia, has spread to two other countries, New Zealand and Singapore.
Strawberries containing needles have reportedly been discovered in New Zealand and Singapore too now.
A man reported finding a sharp metal wire in a punnet of strawberries bought at a Mahota grocery store in Singapore on September 18. Similarly, a supermarket chain in New Zealand announced that needles were found in a box of strawberries imported from Australia.
The bizarre occurrence of needles in strawberry has scared the Australian public for over two weeks. Australians in every state reported finding needles in strawberry punnets. A man was also taken to hospital after eating a strawberry that contained a needle.
The Australian Health Minister Greg Hunt had called the occurrence a “vicious crime” and ordered the nation’s food watchdog to get to the bottom of the mystery.
The Queensland police said that the investigation was progressing slowly due to complicated supply chains in the strawberry industry. Meanwhile, two states have offered A$100,000 (£55,000; $72,000) rewards for information.
The Australian Department of Agriculture has decided that visual inspection of fruit is no longer enough and that all exports of fresh strawberries will be scanned by metal detectors/ X-Ray machines in order to restore confidence in Australian exports of strawberries.