Foodie shares clever kitchen hack to check for needles in strawberries

Young NSW Boy Arrested Over 'Strawberry Prank'

Sewing needles were taken off the shelves at a major Australian supermarket chain on Thursday amid a national panic over sharp objects being found inside strawberries and other fruit.

In a statement, the supermarket giant confirmed it had taken the precautionary step of temporarily removing sewing needles from sale at all its stores. The safety of our customers is our top priority, ' a Woolworths spokesperson told Daily Mail Australia.

Home Affairs Minister Peter Dutton also revealed there have now been more than 100 reports of contaminated fruit.

A 12-year-old girl has been caught out pulling a needle strawberry "prank" at a Blue Mountains school in NSW, as government officials threaten to crack down on the "parasites" behind the nation's fruit contamination crisis.

'Obviously in the last few days we found a young person has admitted to a prank, including putting needles in strawberries, ' Mr Smith said.

She added: "SUPPORT THE STRAWBERRY FARMERS, the strawberries don't have the plague, in fact this one was damn tasty".

Consumers in Queensland were the first to report finding needles embedded inside strawberries.

Two people have spent time at a hospital after accidentally eating one of the needles.

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The agriculture minister has not received a full briefing from police as to where their investigations are at.

Australia's parliament passed legislation on Thursday to increase the maximum prison term to 15 years from 10 years for anyone convicted of tampering with food, in line with offences such as financing terrorism.

The phenomenon - which has turned many Australians off buying strawberries and thrown Australia's fruit industry into chaos - appears to have worsened over the past week.

"Some idiot, for his own reasons, has engaged in an act of sabotage it would seem, and that has put all of that risk for these people out there having a go".

The problem came to light from a Facebook post earlier this month by a man who said his friend had swallowed part of a needle hidden in a strawberry and went to the hospital.

Prime Minister Scott Morrison wants the tough sanctions approved before federal politicians depart Canberra on Thursday.

Australia's Attorney-General Christian Porter said that the government was looking at introducing a maximum 10-year jail sentence for hoaxers.

The governments of Western Australia, New South Wales, and Queensland are all offering a reward of 100,000 Australian dollars, or $72,000, for information.

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