The first needle was discovered in a strawberry in Queensland, last week, but several other reports soon coming in from the state, as well as from South Australia, Western Australia and all the other states.
Prime Minister Scott Morrison on Wednesday announced urgent and harsh new commonwealth criminal penalties for contaminating food as the ongoing needle crisis brings many Australian farmers to their knees.
The attorney general, Christian Porter, said penalties already existed in section 380 of the commonwealth criminal code act relating to the contamination of goods, including food.
The government will also expand the definition of the crime of "sabotage" - usually referring to sabotage of key national infrastructure - to include the sabotage of food for human consumption.
Police in Australia have arrested a young boy who admitted to inserting needles into strawberries as part of an apparent prank.
EARLIER: QUEENSLAND Police are investigating an incident where a "metal object" was found inside a banana.
Queensland Police do not believe the banana incident is connected. They have been recalled.
"I'm angry for all the associated people, it's the farmers, the people who supply them, the packaging people, the truckies with families to support, who suddenly lose their jobs.it's far-reaching", he said.
Samantha Markle sends Prince Harry a weird birthday message
There's no word yet on when Australian or American audiences will get to see the documentary. In the very brief clip, Meghan touches her veil and remarks, "53 countries, oh my goodness".
Hurricane Florence death toll climbs as flooding spreads
The dead included a one-year-old boy swept from his mother as they tried to escape from their vehicle amid floodwaters. He was left stranded and wondering when his insurance company might be able to send roadside assistance.
Texas board votes to drop Hillary Clinton, Helen Keller from history curriculum
Out of a possible 20 points, Keller nabbed seven and Clinton scored a measly five, according to the Dallas Morning News . Figures like Hillary Clinton and Helen Keller may soon be removed from history lessons in Texas .
"At this time, the Queensland Strawberry Growers Association have reason to suspect that a disgruntled ex-employee may have orchestrated the occurrence, wherein sewing needles were found in a number of strawberries in Queensland and Victoria", the statement reads. It is believed to be an isolated incident. No injuries have been reported.
The spiked pieces of fruit have sent at least one person to the hospital, a man who unknowingly swallowed half a sewing needle.
Who is behind the sabotage?
On Monday one of the affected Queensland growers shared a video of trucks dumping thousands of strawberries that could no longer be sold as a result of the scare.
"What isn't helpful is the number of copycat and fake reports making an already hard situation worse", Ms Palaszczuk told Parliament on Wednesday.
The Queensland government on Saturday offered a $100,000 incentive for people with knowledge about the strawberry sabotage to come forward.
Empty shelves, normally stocked with strawberry punnets, are seen at a Coles supermarket in Brisbane.
Mass harvests of fruit have been dumped as prices plunge, consumer demand evaporates and products are ripped from shelves.