Needle-in-Strawberry Scare Spreads Across Australia

Young NSW Boy Arrested Over 'Strawberry Prank'

NSW boy arrested for inserting needles in strawberries as prank

Needles have been pulled from the shelves at Woolworths following a national strawberry contamination crisis. "The safety of our customers is our top priority".

New South Wales Police say that the boy's actions "may be a prank".

The phenomenon - which has turned many Australians off buying strawberries and thrown Australia's fruit industry into chaos - appears to have worsened over the past week.

Tasmanians are being urged to cut up all fruit before eating after metal was found in a local apple in an apparent copycat of interstate needle contamination.

"Just go back to buying strawberries like you used to and take the precautions that you should", Morrison told Australians in a televised address.

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Smith told reporters that he believed they were dealing with copycat incidents.

More than 100 reports of tampered fruit are being investigated by police across the country, many of which are thought to be fake or copycat cases.

Police do not believe the boy, whose name and age were not reported, is the only one responsible for putting sewing needles inside pieces of fruit.

Strawberry Growers Association of Western Australia president Neil Handasyde said growers had received requests from major retailers and insurance companies to scan fruit for needles.

Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison has said those caught piercing supermarket strawberries with needles are comparable to people guilty of possessing child pornography or financing terrorism. Buyers also reported a sharp metal objects in bananas and apples.

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One man in the state of Western Australia and a girl in South Australia reported finding needles in their strawberries in the past two days, according to police.

Six strawberry brands have been recalled nationally. He said the boy would be "dealt with under the youth cautioning system".

The laws will not be retrospective, meaning the current offences will be prosecuted under the old laws of up to 10 years in jail.

The needle scare in Australia has terribly affected the farmers.

The new measures, which the Parliament will consider this week, also directed against those who are satisfied with the jokes and pranks that threaten the life and health of people.

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Earlier, three Australian state has announced a reward of 100 thousand Australian dollars (71 700 USA dollars) for information which may help in the investigation of this crime.

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