When we were kids, the threat of someone putting razor blades in apples turned out to be an urban legend. But this is much worse, because it’s real, and widespread: The Washington Post reports that in Australia “someone is placing sewing needles inside strawberries—endangering those who eat them and sending panic across strawberry markets as prices plummet and government officials scramble to find a culprit.”
In recent days, several people have found sewing needles and pins in strawberries they purchased at the supermarket across six Australian states. At least one person has inadvertently eaten one. The widespread trend leads experts to believe that this crime has inspired copycats in different regions.
Three brands have been recalled as of Saturday, and some stores have stopped selling berries altogether. But in an effort to keep the strawberry market from crashing completely, producers are urging consumers to keep buying them, just being sure to cut them up very carefully before consuming.
Meanwhile, authorities are looking into metal detectors and examining every level of produce distribution to try to find the culprit or culprits. CNN reports that “The government of Queensland has offered $100,000 Australian dollars (about $71,510) to anyone with information that leads to the arrest and conviction of the person responsible for the strawberry contamination.”