A 50-year-old woman has been charged over the strawberry contamination scandal in Queensland.

The woman charged with starting the strawberry needle contamination crisis reportedly worked as a farm supervisor and was unhappy with the way she was being treated.

My Ut Trinh, known as Judy, was arrested on Sunday after a two-month police investigation linked her DNA to the first discovered needle, which police allege was found in a punnet from Queensland’s Berrylicious/Berry Obsession farm, reports Daily Mail.


She has been charged with seven counts contamination of goods which carries a three-year maximum penalty.

Strawberries contaminated with needles were found across the country in September, sparking nationwide panic that resulted in tonnes of fruit being destroyed.

She is accused of inserting a needle into a strawberry because she was unhappy with the company – triggering the contamination crisis and setting off a string of copycat incidents across Australia.

The first report of contamination was made in Queensland on September 12 when Queensland man Hoani Hearne swallowed half a needle biting into a contaminated strawberry purchased from a Woolworths store north of Brisbane.

Share your comments below

  • This woman should be held accountable for all the strawberry businesses that lost so much in stock and loss of reputation from her discusting act of stupidity! 3 years is not enough punishment , nor for any of the copy-cats who thought this was a fun thing to do! Totally discusted !


  • Such a stupid act , she was not really thinking about what would happen. glad they found who did it.


  • Hope she gets more than three years in gaol – she caused such unrest and the industry is still trying to recover from her stupid actions.


  • Well done to the police who investigated and found the culprit. Throw her in jail. She could have killed someone with her cruel act.


  • Good she’s charged ! May the weight of what she has caused be heavy on her shoulders


  • Disgusting behaviour from an adult to do that not thinking of the harm it could do, especially in young kids.


  • amazing how one disgruntled employee can do all this havoc to australian strawberry farmers – I really don’t think a maximum of 3 years is honestly long enough for the hardship and heartache she has put so many through.

    As for the copy cats – it’s only a matter of time until your DNA proves it was you!


  • I’m glad they were able to explore this further so it doesn’t happen again, hopefully.


  • This whole scenario is devastating to the strawberry and other farming industry, people lost everything over this, food was wasted and for what – conditions? Get a different job, ‘use your words’ as I say to my children, there must have been another option for her. So glad she has been caught. Now she will cost the taxpayer for her unemployment benefits and potential gaol time. There are no winners here!


  • This woman needs to feel the full force of the law. She has hurt so many people and I am wondering how Mr Hearne’s health is going.
    Also do hope they catch more copy cat ‘s.

    • I hope they catch the copy cat people too! Shocking to copy such actions.


  • Very happy she been caught,now we have to catch the copy cats.


  • Glad the person has been found. I do not understand her course of action – consumers did not do anything.


  • She was unhappy with the company. And is that enough reason to put so many people’s lives in danger? Happy they could get to her through the DNA.


  • I’m glad they caught her. They’ve already charged some other people and hopefully everyone involved in every incident ends up being charged.


  • This woman and others who were copy cats to this behavior I hope are severely punnished. This affected so many people on a National scale and our society as a whole.


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