A South Australian man who reported finding a needle in his daughter’s strawberry has been charged after police found his claims to be false.
Police say the 34-year-old last week reported that his daughter bit into a strawberry purchased at a local supermarket and that it was contaminated with a needle.
The man, from the northeastern Adelaide suburb of Paradise, was charged with making a false report to police and falsely claiming goods had been contaminated.
He was bailed to appear in the Adelaide Magistrates Court on Monday.
The arrest comes as the hunt for those responsible for sticking needles in strawberries continues, and the federal government ramps up penalties for so-called “food terrorists”.
Food tamperers could spent 10 to 15 years behind bars under draft laws passed by the government on Thursday.
More than 100 reports of tampered fruit are being investigated by police across the country, many of which are thought to be fake or copycat cases.
One young boy in NSW has already been arrested over behaviour that “could be called a prank”, police said, and he will be dealt with under the youth cautioning system.