Legal

Mon, 17 Sep, 2018Fiona Tomarchio

Metal found in Queensland bananas Australian police confirm

Metal found in Queensland bananas Australian police confirm

Police in Australia have confirmed they are investigating an incident where a metal object was found inside a banana, after needles were found in Queensland strawberries.

Queensland Police Commissioner Ian Stewart confirmed police were actively investigating an incident, but did not give details about where the contaminated banana was found.

It comes after metal needles were found in strawberries in Queensland.

"There are significant leads in relation to that [banana] matter," Stewart said.

It's understood the incident with the banana was isolated and involved a person placing a metal object in a banana at a shop.

Stewart said the potential for copycat events was "very real" and the strawberry investigation was ongoing.

"We're focusing very, very much on the supply chain, the people involved in that, this is a very, very significant, economically powerful industry, particularly in the south-east of Queensland and obviously of great concern," he said.

Stewart said there had been incidents across Australia and Queensland police were working with counterparts interstate.

"There's some specific leads that we're following in relation to the banana incident – strawberries are still our major focus," he said.

Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk said it is unbelievable that any person could do this knowing the eventual harm or destruction it could do to a human life.

Queensland chief health officer Jeanette Young said that there had been no further reports of needles or metal objects found in strawberries in Queensland, and only three brands had been withdrawn from the market.

The state government has offered a A$100,000 reward for any information leading to the arrest and conviction of anyone responsible for the strawberry sabotage.

New Zealand company Foodstuffs has halted all imports of Australian strawberries after needles were discovered in strawberries sold in Queensland, Victoria and NSW.

Federal Health Minister Greg Hunt has also ordered the national food safety watchdog to assess Queensland's handling of strawberry contamination.

Republished with permission of Stuff.co.nz.

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