Needles in strawberries: Woman charged in Australia contaminated food scare
An Australian court on Monday ordered a 50-year-old farm supervisor charged in a strawberry needle contamination case that sparked a major food scare to stay in custody until she next appears in court.
The strawberry industry, worth A$160 million (US$116 million), was rocked in September following nearly 200 complaints of sewing needles found in strawberries and other fruits.
Several major supermarkets withdrew the fruit as shoppers abandoned purchases, forcing some growers to dump fruit amid warnings of widespread bankruptcies.
WATCH BELOW: Australia launches investigation into contaminated strawberries
On Monday, police said they had charged the woman, identified as My Ut Trinh in court lists, with seven cases of contamination, the first charges laid in the case.
“This has probably been one of the most trying investigations that I’ve been part of,” Jon Wacker, a police official in the largest strawberry producing region of Queensland, where the crisis was first reported, told reporters.
Police said the woman was a former supervisor at a berry farm of one of the brands affected, but did not say which one.
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