Stop playing with Just Bare chicken: In-house tampering behind need to recall 27 tons

In-house tampering is being blamed for GNP Co. of central Minnesota recalling more than 27 tons of chicken over the weekend after contaminants were detected in some of the product that was distributed primarily to food service and institutional outlets.

Just-Bare-Chicken-1The recall involving the Gold’n Plump and Just Bare brands by the Upper Midwest’s leading chicken manufacturer follows the company disclosing the discovery of sand and black soil in the chicken. GNP is the parent of the popular Gold’n Plump brand.

“Our own inspections turned it up,” said Lexann Reischl, a GNP spokeswoman, “and two food service customers called and told us they found the same material.”

In a statement issued Sunday afternoon, the company said, “Extraneous foreign matter … is linked to an isolated product tampering incident that occurred at the company’s Cold Spring processing plant the week of June 6.”

An employee, who has since been fired, is believed to be behind the contamination, Reischl said.

Cold Spring Police Sgt. Jason Blum said Sunday “there is a known suspect” being investigated, but an arrest has not been made.

More food tampering with potatoes in Canada

Maybe it’s boring living on the east coast of Canada, maybe there’s some mob retribution by messing with potatoes, but seriously, if you want revenge, do it Jersey style.

Television programme : The Sopranos starring James Gandolfini asThe Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA) is advising consumers of a possible food tampering situation involving potatoes following consumer complaints where nails and needles appear to have been inserted into potatoes.

To date complaints have been received from Atlantic Canada.

As tampering is a criminal offense, the Royal Canadian Mounted Police are leading the investigation into this matter. The CFIA is supporting the investigation.

There have been no confirmed illnesses or injuries associated with the consumption of these products. As a precaution, consumers should carefully check potatoes for foreign objects.

Anyone who finds any foreign metal objects in a potato is asked to refrain from throwing out the potato, metal object or the bag and any tags related to the product. Please contact your local police so the potatoes and related items can be passed along to the investigators.

 

PEI potato growers offer reward in tampering case

Coral Beach of The Packer writes the Prince Edward Island (that’s in Canada) potato industry is offering a $50,000 reward for information leading to the arrest and conviction of those responsible for recent tampering incidents involving sewing needles being embedded in fresh potatoes.

potato.needleThe needles have been found by consumers, according to officials with the PEI Potato Board, and have involved fresh potatoes from Linkletter Farms, owned by Gary Linkletter, chairman of the industry board.

Linkletter did not attend the board’s Nov. 10 press conference on the reward, citing conflict of interest concerns because his company has been the victim of the tampering incidents. In an interview with The (Montreal) Guardian, Linkletter said the tampering incident were limited to his farm and were not an industrywide occurrence.

“For the health of Linkletter Farms and the entire industry, we know we all wish to see this incident resolved as quickly as possible,” said PEI board general manager Greg Donald in a news release issued after the press conference.

The Royal Canadian Mounted Police have been investigating the tampering for several weeks. During the first week of November members of the RCMP told The Guardian the investigation was delayed because growers had to stop X-raying harvested potatoes in order to get in the remaining crop.

Canadian says McDonald’s coffee contained dead mouse

Ron Morais of Fredericton says he got more than he bargained for when he picked up a cup of coffee from a local McDonald’s restaurant on his way to work.

dead-mouseHe was contendedly sipping his coffee that he got Monday from the Prospect Street location until he got to the bottom of the paper takeout cup.

“I always take the lid off to get my last sip of coffee. And when I took the lid off, there was a little bit of a surprise in my coffee cup. It was a dead mouse,” Morais said.

Morais said that wasn’t all that was in the cup. He said the mouse left “a few little, shall we say, presents” at the bottom of it.

Morais then showed a few of his co-workers what he had found.

“Unless I had been there and seen Ron drink all that coffee down to the last drop, I would have been, like, ‘You’re lying,’” said one colleague, Brad Patterson.

Jennifer LaHaye, another co-worker who saw the mouse, recalls Morais’s reaction.

“’Oh my God, there’s a mouse in my coffee,’ is what he says. I turn around and look at him. The first time I looked, I actually looked and it’s really, he’s not joking,” LaHaye said.

“Like is he OK — and after that, I got green to the gills.”

Jason Patuano, the communications manager for the eastern region for McDonald’s Canada, issued a corporate statement that underscored how seriously the chain takes food safety.

“We take allegations involving cleanliness and sanitation very seriously,” the statement said.

“Upon learning of this situation, the local franchisee immediately began an investigation, including working closely with the local public health authority who conducted an inspection this [Tuesday] morning following receiving a complaint.”

More tampered Canadian potatoes discovered

CBC News reports that tampered potatoes from P.E.I. have reached other parts of Atlantic Canada.

Potato Head2Over the last few days, police received three reports of tampered potatoes, one in Neil’s Harbour, Nova Scotia, one in Musgrave Harbour, Newfoundland and one in Chance Cove, Newfoundland.

All the potatoes contained a metal object. 

Police believe the potatoes originated from Linkletter Farms in P.E.I.

In all three of the most recent instances, the foreign metal objects were discovered prior to consumption and no one was injured.

With the latest reports, this makes five reports so far of metal objects found in potatoes packaged at Linkletter Farms.

All the tampered potatoes were on a voluntary recall list issued by the Canadian Food Inspection Agency, October 7.

Canadian potatoes recalled after possible tampering

Potatoes grown and packaged on a farm in Prince Edward Island are being recalled and RCMP are investigating after a metal object was found inserted inside a potato.

On Oct. 6, P.E.I. RCMP were informed a potato in Labrador City, Newfoundland and Labrador had been found with a metal object inside.

The table potato is believed to have originated from Linkletter Farms, located in Summerside P.E.I.

RCMP communications officer Sgt. Leanne Butler says police are treating this as a mischief investigation involving food tampering.

Gary Linkletter, general manager of Linkletter Farms, requested the Canadian Food Inspection Agency to issue a voluntary recall of the potatoes to ensure the public is not at risk.

The RCMP major crime unit, forensic identification unit and members of the East Prince RCMP Detachment are all involved in the investigation.

2800 sick; man arrested over Japan food poisoning

Japanese police have arrested a factory worker for allegedly poisoning frozen food with pesticides, in a case that sickened more than 2,800 people across the nation, news reports say.

Gunma Police Department arrested the 49-year-old man, identified as Toshiki Abe, who works at a frozen food factory in Gunma, north of Tokyo, run by a subsidiary of Maruha Nichiro Holdings, Japan’s largest seafood firm, according to public broadcaster NHK and other local media.

The suspect denied the allegations, while the motive behind the alleged crime was still unknown, NHK reported.

Local police officials declined to comment.

The subsidiary, Aqlifoods, received the first of a series of complaints in November, with a customer saying its frozen pizza smelled like machine Aqlifoods.pizzaoil.

But the firm did not announce a product recall until December 29, after tests found traces of a chemical called malathion, which is used as a pesticide and to treat head lice.

Sewing needle found in lettuce in Toronto

A two−inch sewing needle was found pierced into the spine of lettuce in a Toronto grocery store, specifically Andy Boy Romaine lettuce hearts.

The Toronto Police Service advises the public to use caution and check any pre−packaged lettuce for foreign objects.

Anyone with information is asked to contact police at 416−808−4100, Crime Stoppers anonymously at 416−222−TIPS (8477), online at www.222tips.com , text TOR and your message to CRIMES (274637), or Leave A Tip on Facebook.

Food tampering closes Ontario grocery store

A grocery store in Listowel, Ontario (that’s in Canada) suddenly closed Thursday after needles were found in fruit and meat.

The contaminated food was found Thursday afternoon at the Food Basics store on Wallace Avenue North in Listowel. The store was closed as a safety precaution on one of the busiest grocery days of the year, the day before Easter Weekend.

Police are urging area residents to inspect food carefully when handling it and before eating it.

The Perth County OPP (that’s the Ontario Provincial Police, not the dudes with horses) criminal investigations unit is looking into the incident and is working with store management and the Canadian Food Inspection Agency.

It was the Methomy in the salsa: Kansas couple charged in mass poisonings

A couple who were upset at the owner of a Mexican restaurant were charged today with deliberately sickening dozens of patrons by spiking the salsa with an insecticide.

The Capital-Journal of Topeka (Kansas) reports today that Arnoldo Bazan, 30, and his wife  Yini De La Torre, 19, both of Shawnee (Kansas) and both in clear violation of the half-your-age-plus-7-rule for relationships, have been charged with mixing Methomyl into salsa served to patrons at Mi Ranchito restaurant in Lenexa (Kansas),.

That’s good for one count of conspiring to recklessly endanger other people by conspiring to tamper with a consumer product and two counts of tampering with a consumer product.

U.S. Attorney Lanny Welch explained Thursday that Bazan was employed at a Mi Ranchito restaurant in Olathe until June 27. De La Torre was employed at the Mi Ranchito in Lenexa until Aug. 30.

The indictment alleges Bazan perceived the owner of Mi Ranchito restaurants was responsible for Bazan losing his job and his vehicle. Bazan and De La Torre devised a plan to use a Methomyl-based pesticide to poison patrons of the restaurant in hopes the owner of Mi Ranchito would be blamed and suffer financial harm.

In July, Bazan followed the owner of the Mi Ranchito restaurant, Welch said. An anonymous notice was sent to the Mi Ranchito Web site threatening harm if Bazan’s vehicle wasn’t returned. On Aug. 10, De La Torre is accused of placing Methomyl into the salsa at the Mi Ranchito restaurant in Lenexa. On Aug. 11, 12 patrons immediately suffered nausea, abdominal cramps, weakness, sweating and discomfort.

On Aug. 28, Arnoldo Bazan sent word to the owner of Mi Ranchito by way of another person that "the worst" was yet to come, Welch said. On Aug. 30, De La Torre again placed Methomyl into salsa at the Mi Ranchito restaurant in Lenexa. On that day, 36 patrons immediately suffered nausea, abdominal cramps, weakness, sweating and chest discomfort.

On Sept. 8, Bazan reportedly told De La Torre not to speak with law enforcement investigators or she would suffer physical harm.

Welch said the following agencies took part in the investigation: the U.S. Food and Drug Administration’s Office of Criminal Investigation, the Environmental Protection Agency’s Criminal Investigation Division, the Lenexa Police Department, the Johnson County District Attorney’s Office, the Kansas Department of Agriculture, the Kansas Department of Health and Environment, and the Johnson County Health Department. Assistant U.S. Attorney Scott Rask is prosecuting.