Arrest made after intentional food contamination at grocery store

By Joseph James Whitworth contact

- Last updated on GMT

Picture: Istock/rook76
Picture: Istock/rook76
A man has been arrested and has admitted spraying food with a mixture of a commercial mouse poison, alcohol-based hand-sanitizer and water.

The Michigan departments of Agriculture and Rural Development and Health and Human Services said it is working with the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) and law enforcement in Ann Arbor on the investigation involving retail grocery stores in the area. 

The man contaminated salad bars and/or produce sections of at least three grocery stores in the greater Ann Arbor area – Whole Foods, Meijer, Inc. and Plum Market – at least twice in the last month.

“Out of an abundance of caution and to protect public health and food safety, I encourage consumers to dispose of any foods purchased from salad bars, olive bars and ready-to-eat hot and cold food areas from these stores between mid-March and the end of April,”​ said Jamie Clover Adams, MDARD director.

Based on known ingredients in the mixture, MDHHS said it does not anticipate adverse health effects for anyone who ate potentially contaminated products.

“While the risk for adverse health effects appears to be low, more investigation is being done to determine what level of exposure may have occurred​,” said Dr Eden Wells, chief medical executive, MDHHS.

In a statement before the arrest, David Gelios, special agent in charge, FBI-Detroit Division, said the individual was suspected of attempting to contaminate food products.

He was observed sprinkling a liquid on food carts in a Washtenaw County grocery store. Preliminary tests came back negative for harmful substances, Gelios added.

Related topics: Food Safety & Quality

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