Australia strawberry scare as hidden sewing needles found in fruit across the country

Australian police have issued a public health warning after needles were found hidden in strawberries across all six of the country's states.

Sewing needles were initially found in punnets of the fruit in Queensland last week, but the problem has since spread.

A boy as young as nine was among those to make the unpleasant discovery whilst eating, although no injuries have so far been reported.

Authorities said the sabotage was "putting families' lives at risk and a 100,000 Australian dollar reward has been offered for information.

Six brands of strawberry supplier are believed to have been affected and their produce since recalled.

A 100,000-dollar reward has been offered. Credit: Channel 7

Growers are now turning to metal detectors and the Australian government has launched an investigation to restore confidence in the popular fruit.

Two major food distributors in New Zealand have announced they are taking Australian strawberries off of their shelves.

Queensland premier Annastacia Palaszczuk said: "This is putting families' lives at risk and it's also putting the strawberry industry at risk."

The fruit is very popular across Australia. Credit: Channel 7

Other politicians went further, publicly calling out the perpetrators.

Andrew Broad, MP for Mallee in Victoria state, said: "The low-life scum, who think it's somehow funny to put needles in strawberries, I think should be chucked in jail as soon as they're identified."

The public have now been advised to cut open strawberries before consumption, while strawberries from brands Berry Obsession and Berry Licious are urged to be disposed of.

The investigation is ongoing.