QUEENSLAND: A "metal object" reportedly discovered in a banana in Australia's Queensland state was placed there by someone with a mental health issue, in an incident unrelated to the strawberries recently found embedded with sewing needles, Australian media reported.
The Sydney Morning Herald on Monday (Sep 17) quoted Queensland Police Commissioner Ian Stewart as saying that police had received a report of a metal object in a banana.
"There are significant leads in relation to that matter," he said, without providing details of the case.
Adelaide-based The Advertiser reported that a spokesman for Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk later clarified a person with a mental health issue had put the object in the banana.
“We have a report about once incident involving a banana - that is the only one of those that we’ve had so far, that I’m aware of,” the newspaper quoted Mr Stewart as saying.
“Sadly, there are those in the community who perhaps don't understand the harm they’re doing."
Earlier this month, Australian authorities warned people to cut strawberries before eating them after sewing needles were found in several punnets, triggering the withdrawal of several brands from sale nationwide.
New Zealand supermarkets have also pulled Australian strawberries from their shelves.
The Australian state of Queensland offered an AU$100,000 (US$71,500) reward for information leading to the arrest of those responsible for the contaminated strawberries.
Mr Stewart was quoted by the Herald as saying that the potential for copy-cat events was "very real" and that the strawberry investigation was ongoing.