A $100,000 reward is being offered for any information leading to the arrest and conviction of anyone responsible for the current strawberry tampering incident.
Two brands of strawberries – Berry Obsession and Berrylicious have already been withdrawn from sale, and a third brand, Donnybrook Berries, is being removed from sale.
Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk said the reward was an additional incentive to bring the incident to a rapid conclusion.
“Whoever is behind this is not just putting families at risk across Queensland and the rest of Australia – they are putting an entire industry at risk,” Ms Palaszczuk said.
“I would urge anyone with information that may be relevant to this incident in any way to contact police as soon as possible.
“Anyone who believes they or a member of their family may have eaten a needle should urgently speak to their doctor or call 13 HEALTH.”
Queensland supplies the winter production of strawberries for Australia, with the season running from May to October, with some contribution to summer production from the Stanthorpe region.
There are about 150 strawberry growers in Queensland, with most production around Dayboro, Beerwah, Wamuran, Elimbah, Caboolture, Stanthorpe and Bundaberg.
Queensland growers produce 6000-15,000 tonnes of fruit per season, up to 60 million punnets of strawberries.
The value of Queensland strawberries for 2017–18 is forecast to be $160 million.