Police in the Victoria area are investigating social media threats against canning producer SPC, after the company mandated Covid-19 vaccines for its workers.
The company, which operates a large cannery in Shepparton, set a precedent for Australian businesses by making vaccinations for workers and contractors mandatory earlier this month.
Anonymous posts online suggest degrading SPC products on supermarket shelves and asked what might happen if a needle is found in a box of SPC food, according to reports.
The threats were reported on August 12 and detectives in Shepparton are investigating, police said on Saturday. Anyone caught contaminating food products faces up to 15 years in prison.
The SPC has given its workers until the end of November to be vaccinated. In addition to not wanting staff to get sick, the company must also continue to produce essential foods.
In making the vaccine mandatory earlier this month, SPC chairman Hussein Rifai said he wanted to ensure the well-being of workers and the community.
“The Delta variant poses a significant threat to our employees, our customers and the communities we serve,” he said.
All SPC workers will be offered paid time off to get vaccinated and two days of special paid leave if they become ill afterwards.
Giles said the company set an example for others.
“We strongly believe that it will be manufacturers and innovators like SPC who will contribute to Australia’s post-Covid economic recovery,” he said.