POLICE have arrested a 50-year-old woman following a complex investigation into the alleged contamination of strawberries in Queensland in September.
After the discovery of punnets of strawberries contaminated with needles, Queensland authorities notified the public of the safety risk on September 12.
The QPS coordinated a national investigative response with multiple government, law enforcement and intelligence agencies.
A police taskforce was established with officers from the State Crime Command coordinating the investigation together with detectives in a number of police districts in Queensland.
Following an extensive investigation, officers arrested a 50-year-old woman this afternoon.
The woman is expected to be charged this evening and appear in the Brisbane Magistrates Court tomorrow.
Investigations are continuing.
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.
Crime can be reported to Policelink on 131 444 or Crime Stoppers on 1800 333 000.