Contamination: pollution of food
Harshly: an adverb meaning harsh. Harsh means very strict, or too strict.
Punnet: a container for berries
In the last month Australia has struggled with a health scare related to strawberries, and this is now something that New Zealanders also need to be careful of.
Last week in Australia, there were more than 100 reports of strawberries with needles planted inside them. The Australian government is offering a reward for anyone who has information about how this happened, and they have changed the law to ensure that any future contamination of food is harshly punished.
But in the meantime, people have found some needles in a punnet of Australian strawberries imported to New Zealand. The brand name of the strawberries is Choice brand and they were sold at Countdown Supermarket. This brand of strawberries has now been removed from the supermarket, but New Zealanders have been warned that when eating any Australian strawberries this summer, to cut them up before eating.