Across all six Australian states, almost 200 complaints were made of sewing needles found in strawberries and other fruits, rocking the $116 million strawberry industry after consumers avoided the fruits at supermarkets.
My Ut Trinh faces seven counts of contamination of goods, after allegedly inserting the needles into punnets of strawberries departing the Berrylicious and Berry Obsession farm in south-east QLD.
A strawberry contaminated with a sewing needle.
A 50-year-old woman sabotaged Australian supermarket strawberries with sewing needles in an alleged act of workplace revenge, prosecutors told a Brisbane court Monday.
Mr Wacker said police received 186 complaints of fruit contamination, of which 15 had been found to be hoaxes.
A former farm worker accused of contaminating strawberries with needles will remain behind bars after being arrested in what Queensland police say is one of the most trying investigations they have conducted.More news: 11 injured in USA bar shooting
Her alleged involvement in the contamination is not yet known.
Thankfully, no one was seriously harmed from eating a contaminated strawberry.
The woman faces up to 10 years in jail if found guilty after Australia's conservative government toughened sentencing in a bid to contain the crisis.
As more needles were discovered around the country - with many believed to have been planted by copycats - strawberries were stripped from shelves.
On Monday Supt Jon Wacker, from Queensland Police, described it as a "unique investigation impacting virtually every state and jurisdiction in Australia". She is to remain in custody ahead of her next appearance on November 22, court officials said. "It's a fairly unique investigation where virtually the whole of State Crime Command, over 100 members from State Crime Command undertook the investigation", Walker said.
Large numbers of strawberries were recalled from Australian supermarkets, and many farmers were forced to bin their crops.
Following the news of the charged, Queensland's Strawberry Growers Association released a statement.