Police arrest woman over strawberry contamination
A 50-YEAR-OLD woman has been arrested over a strawberry needle contamination that sparked a nationwide crisis.
All six states had begun investigations into reports of tampering that has seen needles or pins discovered in strawberries, as well apples and bananas.
The woman's arrest follows a complex investigation into the alleged contamination of strawberries in Queensland in September.
The 50-year-old woman was taken into Queensland Police custody on Sunday after a months-long investigation involving authorities and intelligence agencies from multiple states, Police said.
The crisis led to harsher penalties being rushed through federal parliament for those caught tampering with food.
It also resulted in tonnes of strawberries being dumped or going to waste around the country threatening the future of the half-a-billion-dollar industry.
After the discovery of punnets of strawberries contaminated with needles, Queensland authorities notified the public of the safety risk on September 12.
The Queensland Police Service co-ordinated a national investigative response with multiple government, law enforcement and intelligence agencies.
A police taskforce was established with officers from the State Crime Command co-ordinating the investigation together with detectives in a number of police districts in Queensland.
Police said, following an extensive investigation, officers arrested a 50-year-old woman this afternoon.
The woman is expected to be charged this evening and appear in the Brisbane Magistrates Court on Monday.
Investigations are continuing.