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Michigan Stores Hit With Potential Poisoning Scare

The FBI has arrested a man suspected of contaminating open food bars at several Michigan grocery stores with a liquid spray containing mouse poison, hand cleaner and water.

The Detroit Free Press, quoting health officials, said no one has yet reported becoming ill from the potentially contaminated food, but recommends consumers immediately dispose of any salad bar, hot bar and ready-to-eat items that were purchased at potentially affected stores in Ann Arbor, Saline, Midland and Birch Run,  Mich.

The FBI said the suspect is linked to possible contamination at open food bars over the past two weeks at a variety of supermarket banners. State health officials said that based on the FBI investigation, other stores in Michigan may have been targeted.

The suspect was identified and taken into custody Tuesday, May 2, following tips from the public. The FBI has not named the suspect, saying only that he has admitted to using a potentially hazardous material to contaminate food in several Ann Arbor-area grocery stores, and that he sprayed the produce within the past two weeks.

"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, director of the Michigan Department of Agriculture and Rural Development. "Although most of these types of foods may have already been eaten or disposed of, some may still be in refrigerators or freezers."

"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 for the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services.

People with concerns are advised to contact their health care provider or the Michigan Poison Control center at 800-222-1222.


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