$100k reward offered to catch strawberry saboteur

A third brand of strawberries are being removed from shelves after needles were found in the fruit.
A third brand of strawberries are being removed from shelves after needles were found in the fruit.

A $100,000 reward has been offered for information on the Queensland strawberry saboteur amid fears six brands across four states have been targeted with needle insertion.

Fruit sold under Berry Obsession, Berry Licious and Donnybrook brands have been affected, while NSW police warn fruit sold under the Love Berry, Delightful Strawberries and Oasis brands were inserted with needles by a possible copycat.

Queensland premier Annastacia Palaszczuk has issued the reward over concerns for growers as well as consumers.

"As the products have yet to be forensically examined, it is unknown if the contamination is related to the original Queensland incident or a copycat," NSW Police said late Friday.

Products sold under those labels have been pulled from shelves but it is unclear just how big the health issue has become with punnets being sold across Australia.

A health warning to throw out or cut up strawberries remains in Queensland, New South Wales, Victoria and South Australia as authorities hunt those responsible.

"We've got to look at this as a whole, it's a very, very broad picture and we can't speculate in any way, shape or form," Queensland Acting Chief Superintendent Terry Lawrence told reporters on Friday.

He says there is no link between the Donnybrook berry contamination and the Berry Obsession and Berry Licious cases.

On Thursday, Queensland police announced they were also investigating a suspected copycat incident after a metal rod was discovered on top of strawberries inside a plastic punnet at Coles in Gatton.

Australian Associated Press