A man has been arrested in west London after allegations that food in three nearby supermarkets had been injected with a mysterious substance. While police conduct an investigation, the stores remain closed
A customer fears that blood may have been injected into food in three supermarkets in west London.
Locals hoping to visit Tesco, Waitrose and Sainsbury’s in Fulham have been turned down today following the arrest of a man suspected of contaminating food.
Police were called to Fulham Palace Road around noon. 19:40 last night initially to reports of a man shouting abuse at people on the street.
He was remanded in custody after allegations that food – including microwave meals and processed meats – had been injected with a mysterious substance in nearby Little Waitrose, Sainsbury’s Local and Tesco Extra stores.
He was arrested on suspicion of contaminating goods for the purpose of causing public harm or anxiety.
Forensic scientists were seen packing processed meat packets in unhealthy bags to be sent for chemical testing this morning.
People who have bought food in the three stores have been advised to throw it away as a precaution.
Crime scenes have been put in place in supermarkets while police investigate whether other stores were also targeted.
A customer said they had been told the suspect may have injected his own blood into products, Mail Online reports.
The NHS employee, who did not want to be identified, said: “I live close by and went outside last night to find out what was going on.
“There were police outside Waitrose and I asked an officer what it was the man had injected and he mentioned it could be blood.
“He said that no matter what the drug is, it has gone to be tested. The police also control CCTV.”
Jessica Nilson, 33, a disability advocate, said: “I live just around the corner and I had no idea any of this had happened.
“I’m a hangover, so I just wanted a cold coffee. I was told the shops would be closed all day.
“It can not be real, can it? It must be a crazy person? It can not be real.
“I do not believe anyone could go around stabbing poison or whatever it is for ready meals.”
She added: “I shop all the time from here, I have not heard of anyone who has become ill recently.
“It makes you think that maybe someone might have done something before, and that’s the time he was caught, but you can not think like that.
“There are some messy people in the world.”
Nick Pattison, 50, who works in the tourism industry, said: “I am completely shocked and horrified at the thought of someone contaminating food.
“I think there was a case in New York when someone injected a mixture of feces and urine into the breakfast buffet and salads.
“I also remember in the 1970s when people protested against Israel by injecting mercury into Jaffa oranges.
“It’s been done before. It’s awful, it’s happened here. I had no idea. I thought it would have been stabbings.”
Roger Elston, 74, a retired CFO of the construction industry, said: “I am a widower, so even though I occasionally eat the odd ready-made dish, I am very grateful to have friends who will make lunch and dinner for me nearby.
“I’m worried, but I’ve been vigilant and trying to eat as fresh as I can.
“I have not been ill for many, many years now. I have not heard of anyone who has become ill either, so I hope this must be the first time this person has done this.
“I hope the culprit is accused and quickly removed. What is going to go through people’s minds?”
It is not known what substance the food was contaminated with.
A spokesman for Scotland Yard said: “Police have arrested a man suspected of contaminating goods for the purpose of causing public harm or anxiety after food in supermarkets was injected with needles.
“Officers were called around 7.40am on Wednesday after a man was reportedly shouting abuse at people on the street.
“It is rumored that the man has entered three supermarkets in Fulham Palace Road and injected food with a number of needles. He has been taken into police custody.
“They are Little Waitrose, 201-207 Fulham Palace Road; Sainsbury’s Local, 179-183 Fulham Palace Road and Tesco Express, 168-188 Fulham Place Road.
“The supermarkets are closed and crime is in place.
“The affected foods are thought to be processed meats and microwaves. It is currently unknown how many items have been contaminated or what.
“Investigations are underway to determine if other companies in the area are involved in the incident.”
A Tesco employee said, “I can not say anything to you as it is an ongoing police investigation.”
A Waitrose employee said, “All we’re got to say is refer people to the Met Police.”
Outside Sainsbury’s, a sign reads: “Due to unforeseen circumstances, this store will be closed for the time being. We apologize for any inconvenience this may cause.”
A spokesman for Hammersmith and the Fulham Council said: “This is a Met Police investigation and our environmental health team supports the three branches.”