Australia has ordered an investigation into the discovery of sewing needles hidden in strawberries, amid growing alarm over scares across the country.
Contaminated punnets have now been reported in six states and territories. A minister called it a “vicious crime”.
One man was taken to hospital after eating a strawberry that held a needle.
Several brands have been recalled, while New Zealand’s biggest grocers have stopped selling Australian strawberries as a precaution.
Australian Health Minister Greg Hunt ordered the Food Safety Authority of Australia and New Zealand to investigate the scare.
“This is a very vicious crime and it’s a general attack on the public,” he said.
Local authorities are also investigating, but no suspects have been identified.
Growers and police have suggested that some cases may be copycat incidents.