Woman charged over strawberry contamination

12 November, 2018 by
Hospitality Magazine

Queensland police have made an arrest over the strawberry contamination saga which has cost the industry millions.

My Ut Trinh has been charged with seven counts of contamination of goods with intent to cause economic loss after her DNA was found in a strawberry punnet sold in a Victorian supermarket.

Advertisement

The 50-year-old appeared in court on Monday morning but will remain in custody until her next hearing on 22 November.

My Ut Trinh worked as a fruit picker supervisor at the Berrylicious and Berry Obsession farms in South-East Queensland.

Advertisement

It’s believed My Ut Trinh was unhappy with her treatment at the farms and “wanted to bring them down” and “put them out of business”, reports 7 News.

My Ut Trinh is facing a three-year maximum sentence under Section 238 Criminal Code. A circumstance of aggravation will also be alleged, taking potential jail time to a 10-year maximum.

Advertisement

Police released a statement confirming the arrest and say investigations are ongoing.

“The QPS coordinated a national investigative response with multiple government, law enforcement and intelligence agencies,” reads the statement. “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.”

More than 100 cases of contaminated fruit have been reported to police since the initial risk was identified on 12 September.

Strawberry growers were forced to dump tonnes of stock after supermarkets pulled punnets from the shelves, leading to a dive in wholesale prices and consumer demand.

Image credit: ABC