Strawberry Needle Scare in Australia: NSW Boy Arrested for Causing Scare and Crippling the Fruit Industry
Strawberry (Photo Credits: Pixabay)

The case of needles being found in fruits sold in Australian supermarkets have been solved. Last week, people across the country complained after finding needles in strawberries and bananas. A young boy from New South Wales (NSW), an Australian stated has now admitted to causing the needle scare as a 'prank'. Acting Assistant Commissioner Stuart Smith said the arrest had been made in the past few days.

Smith was quoted as saying, "Obviously in the last few days we found a young person has admitted to a prank, including putting needles in strawberries." Smith said all offenders would "feel the full weight of the law". According to current state legislation, any NSW offenders will spend a maximum of 10 years in prison. However, Smith said the young boy will be dealt under the 'youth cautioning system'. Needle Fear in Australia and New Zealand After Strawberry With Needle Stuck Inside Leaves a Man Hospitalised in Queensland

Needle in a strawberry

Around 13 people publicly complained after finding needles in their strawberries. On Wednesday, a child found a needle inside a banana at a Newcastle primary school north of Sydney. He saw the needle before biting into the fruit which was in their lunchbox. The child brought it to to the notice of the teacher and thereafter the school informed the police.

Australian Prime minister Scott Morrison told reporters in Canberra, "Some idiot, for his own reasons, or her own reasons have engaged in an act of sabotage. Now any idiot who thinks they can go out into a shopping centre and start sticking pins in fruit and thinks this is some sort of lark or something... that sort of behaviour is reckless and under the provision we will be seeking to introduce swiftly, that type of behaviour would carry a penalty of up to 10 years in prison."

Strawberries dumped in a farm due to the scare

Morrison added saying, "It's not a joke, it's not funny. You are putting the livelihoods of hard-working Australians at risk, and you are scaring children... and you're a coward and a grub. This is a shocking and cowardly thing for this individual and others who have jumped onto the bandwagon here to have engaged in."

That is just heartbreaking

The crisis has majorly affected farmers as their produce worth thousands of dollars are landing in the trash. The demand for strawberries have reduced drastically and supermarkets have stopped keeping the fruit. Stocks of six brands including Donnybrook Berries, Love Berry, Delightful Strawberries, Oasis, Berry Obsession and Berry Licious were recalled. Tougher penalties for contaminating fruit were announced earlier on Wednesday.

After the contamination scare started last week, the government of Queensland had offered a 100,000 Australian dollar ($72,000) reward for information leading to the arrest of the person responsible for causing the needle scare. Some stores in New Zealand also temporarily banned the sale of Australian strawberries.