FBI: Man put mouse poison on food in Ann Arbor stores

Charles E. Ramirez
The Detroit News

Police and federal agents said they’ve arrested a man suspected of spraying food with a mouse poison mixture at Ann Arbor-area grocery stores.

The FBI said a tip from the public led to the suspect, whom they haven’t identified.

David Gelios, special agent in charge of the FBI’s Detroit Division, said the man admitted to contaminating food with a potentially hazardous liquid at the Whole Foods Market on West Eisenhower Parkway, a Meijer store on Ann Arbor-Saline Road and Plum Market on North Maple Road.

“The suspect has admitted to using a potentially hazardous material to contaminate food in several Ann Arbor-area grocery stores,” Gelios said. “Our joint investigation leads us to believe that this individual sprayed a liquid mixture of hand sanitizer, water and Tomcat mice poison on produce.”

He also said the suspect told investigators he sprayed the chemicals on produce in those stores within the last two weeks. A release by the state said based on the FBI investigation, as many as 14 other stores in the area may also have been targeted.

State officials said Tuesday the stores have been contacted and additional samples have been collected by law enforcement for further testing.

The chemicals found in this mixture are a form of anti-coagulant, similar to what is found in medicines that have an anti-clotting function. Officials with the Michigan Department of Agriculture and Rural Development said they do not anticipate any adverse health effects on individuals who may have ingested potentially contaminated products.

In the meantime, the department’s food inspectors are in stores conducting follow-up assessments to determine the concentration of the liquid, officials said.

Jamie Clover Adams, the department’s director, warns consumers who think they may have purchased contaminated food at these stores to throw it away.

“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,” he said in a statement. “Although most of these types of foods may have already been eaten or disposed of, some may still be in refrigerators or freezers.”

The Agriculture Department has urged people to contact their health care provider or call Michigan Poison Control at 1-800-222-1222 if they have concerns or questions.

cramirez@detroitnews.com

(313) 222-2058

Potential targets

Based on FBI investigation, there is the potential that other stores in Michigan may also have been targeted. These stores include:

■Busch's, 40 S. Main Street, Ann Arbor

■Cupcake Station, 116 E. Liberty, Ann Arbor

■Family Fare, 2026 North Saginaw. Midland

■Kroger, 3838 Richfield Road, Flint

■Meijer, 7300 Eastman Ave., Midland

■Meijer, 3145 Ann Arbor-Saline, Ann Arbor

■Meijer, 9515 Birch Run Rd, Birch Run

■Millers Mini Mart, 3001 Bay City Rd, Midland

■Plum Market, 375 North Maple, Ann Arbor

■Target, 2000 Waters Road, Ann Arbor

■Tsai Grocery, 3115 Oak Valley Dr., Ann Arbor

■Walmart, 910 Joe Mann Blvd., Midland

■Walmart, 7000 E Michigan Ave., Saline

■Whole Foods, 990 W Eisenhower Pkwy., Ann Arbor

■Whole Foods, 3135 Washtenaw Ave., Ann Arbor

Source: Michigan Department of Agriculture and Rural Development