02:12 GMT +324 January 2020
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    The government of the Australian state of Queensland has offered a reward for information that would lead to the arrest of the person responsible for placing sewing needles and pins in strawberries.

    Australia has launched an investigation after sewing needles and pins were discovered in baskets of strawberries, with many consumers fearing for their safety.

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    Australians are now being warned to slice the berry before eating following reports that a man had been rushed to hospital after swallowing some fragments and then feeling “severe abdominal pain,” while a nine-year-boy was said to have spat out a needle while eating the fruit at school.

    “Someone is trying to sabotage the industry but also in doing that, they are putting babies’ and children’s and families’ lives at risk,” said Annastacia Palaszczuk, the premier of the state of Queensland, which is a major strawberry producer.

    Currently, some seven brands are named among those affected, with several supermarket chains such as Coles and Aldi, pulling strawberries from their shelves across the country.

    The state is now offering an AU$100,000 reward for information that would help find and arrest those responsible.

    "I would urge anyone with information that may be relevant to this incident in any way to contact police as soon as possible," Palaszczuk said.

    reward, strawberries, investigation, Australia
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