We all need to buy groceries, that is unless we want to grow all our own food. It's obviously not that easy to take up farming, so we all have our favorite local grocery stores. But what do you do if you find out that your grocery store has been affected by a dangerous contamination?
And no, I'm not talking about some kind of bacterial infection like E.coli, there are actually cases of people discovering needles in their fruits.
It's like an old wives tale come to life, but instead of Halloween candy that is filled with razor blades, these sewing needles have been found in strawberries and apples.
These incidents are being reported across Australia, and they are worried about any copycats who may try to add to the chaos.
Public health authorities across the country have been warning Australians to star alert as several incidents have been reported of people discovering a sewing needle in their food.
One man was sent to hospital after biting into a strawberry and accidentally taking half of a sewing needle with it, but he's not the only one to find these subtle attacks.
A seven-year-old girl discovered a needle in her strawberries, but luckily she wasn't injured. However, copycats already seem to be tampering with other fruit. A mother was peeling an apple for her daughter when she realized a needle had been shoved into it.
She had heard about the strawberry problem, but had thought apples were safe. She was lucky that she had decided to peel it for her daughter because normally she doesn't. “My kids just grab them and bite into apples normally," she said. "I’ve seen the news about strawberries and I’ve been vigilant in cutting those up for the girls, but to see this in an apple… I actually thought these were safe."
Police are determined to find out who is tampering with the fruit, and have even offered a $72,000 reward for any details on the case.
“Whoever is behind this is not just putting families at risk across Queensland and the rest of Australia — they are putting an entire industry at risk,” Premier and Minister for Trade Annastacia Palaszczuk said.
The company that has been affected is called Queensland Strawberries, and they've been fairly open with the issue.
They released a statement on their Facebook claiming they know what happened.
"At this time, the Queensland Strawberry Growers Association have reason to suspect that a disgruntled ex-employee may have orchestrated the occurrence, wherein sewing needles were found in a number of strawberries, in Queensland and Victoria. To our current knowledge, two labels, Berry Licious and Berry Obsession are the only affected lines.
The Queensland Strawberry Growers Association are waiting on more information from Queensland Police on this matter and will update the Australian public as news becomes available to us."
They are calling for their clients to remain calm as the number of cases is not as high as some media outlets have been reporting.
“Fundamentally we are looking at a very small number of confirmed cases of actual tampering related to just three brands; all other reported cases have either been copycats or unsubstantiated claims."
"It is confirmed there were four incidents of tampering with strawberry punnets sold in supermarkets in the 24 hours to midday today - two occurrences in Queensland and two in Victoria."
However, new cases are still being reported.
#BREAKING news out of @abcperth that police have confirmed a fifth case of #strawberry contamination, with a primary school student discovering a needle in their fruit.— ABC Rural (@ABCRural) September 18, 2018
More: https://t.co/Gr1ocKHDyp pic.twitter.com/msYjL4NMzI
But they are trying to guarantee that this will never happen again.
"We cannot let this happen again and we will be working with all levels of government across jurisdictions to ensure that systems and processes are put in place to not only best manage risk to the public, but reduce unnecessary threats to the livelihood of farmers and their families."
While no incidents have been reported outside of Australia, there is a chance that copycat may try to bring this issue to us. The best way to be sure your fruit is safe is by cutting into your strawberries before eating them.