Australia strawberry crisis raises food safety concerns

Needle scare also prompts call to keep eating fruit and support farmers

Australian farmer Aidan Young with the strawberries he will destroy at his farm in Queensland following the needle scare. The crisis has led to falling sales and forced growers to dump millions of strawberries. It has also raised questions about the
Australian farmer Aidan Young with the strawberries he will destroy at his farm in Queensland following the needle scare. The crisis has led to falling sales and forced growers to dump millions of strawberries. It has also raised questions about the adequacy of food safety measures.PHOTO: AGENCE FRANCE-PRESSE

In Australia, it has become an act of patriotism to buy a punnet of strawberries.

Everyone - from Prime Minister Scott Morrison to those on popular cooking websites - has been urging people to keep eating strawberries to assist farmers and to ignore a food contamination scare in which sewing needles have been found in strawberries and other fruit.

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A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on September 26, 2018, with the headline 'Australia strawberry crisis raises food safety concerns'. Subscribe