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Man arrested for ‘contaminating food’ with syringes at London supermarkets: cops

New York Daily News logo New York Daily News 8/26/2021 Nelson Oliveira

U.K. authorities urged the public to throw away any food items bought at three London supermarkets on Wednesday after a man was caught using needles to inject an unknown substance into several products.

The suspect was arrested on “suspicion of contaminating food” at three different stores in the city’s Hammersmith and Fulham borough “with intention of causing public harm or anxiety,” local authorities said. The items affected were believed to be processed meat and microwaveable products, London’s Metropolitan Police said in a statement Thursday.

a person standing in front of a building: Supermarket food contaminated with syringes. Police officers in forensic suits speak to a colleague outside Tesco Express on Fulham Palace Road, west London, which has been closed and a crime scene put in place after a man was arrested on suspicion of contaminating food with a syringe. © Jonathan Brady Supermarket food contaminated with syringes. Police officers in forensic suits speak to a colleague outside Tesco Express on Fulham Palace Road, west London, which has been closed and a crime scene put in place after a man was arrested on suspicion of contaminating food with a syringe.

Supermarket food contaminated with syringes. Police officers in forensic suits speak to a colleague outside Tesco Express on Fulham Palace Road, west London, which has been closed and a crime scene put in place after a man was arrested on suspicion of contaminating food with a syringe. (Jonathan Brady/)

Cops were called to one of the stores just before 8 p.m. for a report of a man “shouting abuse” at strangers in the street, according to the release. They soon learned he had visited at least three supermarkets that evening and injected multiple food items using “a number of needles,” police said.

Authorities are still investigating how many items may have been contaminated and what kind of substance was used. No illnesses had been reported as of Thursday morning.

The three supermarkets — Little Waitrose, Sainsbury’s Local and Tesco Express — were immediately shut down for the investigation.

“Members of the public are advised as a precaution to dispose of any food items bought from these supermarkets this evening,” police said.

a person standing in front of a store: Police officer stands outside Little Waitrose on Fulham Palace Road, west London on Thursday, August 26, 2021. © Provided by New York Daily News Police officer stands outside Little Waitrose on Fulham Palace Road, west London on Thursday, August 26, 2021.

Police officer stands outside Little Waitrose on Fulham Palace Road, west London on Thursday, August 26, 2021. (Jonathan Brady/)

The local environmental health agency is assisting with the investigation.

The suspect’s name has not been released, in accordance with Britain’s privacy laws.

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