Pins found in sausage, pepperoni bought in Nanaimo, police say

Sewing pins discovered in pepperoni and Ukrainian sausage at three separate stores in Nanaimo

Nanaimo RCMP investigators have launched an investigation to determine who is responsible for inserting pins into meat products.

According to police, there have been three separate incidents reported to police in which Grimm’s Fine Foods-branded products have been tampered with at separate retailers throughout Nanaimo.

In each case a pin, similar to those used in sewing, was found inside products purchased by the general public.

The first incident occurred with products from Costco in December, when a pin was found inside pepperoni sticks, but it was not reported until March. The next tampering was discovered in February when a pin was discovered in pepperoni sticks from the Real Canadian Superstore and reported eight days later. In the third incident, a pin was discovered in some Ukrainian sausage from Fairway Market in late March and reported in early April.

“What happened was, when some of the products were purchased, there was a delay between when the product was purchased, alerting the store and the store in turn alerting us,” said Gary O’Brien, Nanaimo RCMP spokesman.

In the case of the Fairway Market incident, Randy Richter, Nanaimo store general manager, said the customer first contacted Grimm’s, which contacted Fairway Market. Fairway cancelled its orders of Grimm’s products after being notified of the tampering.

“The customer, on his part, phoned up Grimm’s. They were told to bring it back to Fairways. We did take it back. The Grimm’s rep picked it up, shipped it back to their head office and from there we pulled the product,” Richter said.

Richter went on to say the Grimm’s products were pulled in the interest of public safety, but said he was unable to comment further.

Len Spencer, president of Direct Plus Food Group, the company responsible for sales and distribution of Grimm’s Fine Foods, said the company is working in co-operation with police, but could say little beyond that, citing the ongoing police investigation. He also would not comment on how other stores have responded to the incidents or how they have affected sales of Grimm’s Fine Foods or other meat products.

“All I can really comment on, at this point is … this is a police matter and it’s an active investigation and I can let you know that we are in full co-operation with the police on anything and everything that they need, so that’s about all I can tell you at this point,” Spencer said.

O’Brien said Nanaimo RCMP, working with Grimm’s investigators, have concluded the tampering happened while the products where on the display shelves in the stores and did not originate with the manufacturer.

“Costco, Real Canadian Superstore, Fairway Market, Grimm’s have all been fantastic to work with. They want to get to the bottom of this as quickly as possible as well,” O’Brien said.

So far no injuries have been reported nor have there been other tampering incidents involving Grimm’s or other brands of meat products in Nanaimo or elsewhere reported since early April.

Police are not providing a precise description of the kind of pin that was discovered in the meat since that is part of the evidence pertinent to the investigation.

O’Brien investigators the public needs to be “extremely vigilant” and if any new incidents of food tampering are discovered to contact Nanaimo RCMP immediately.

The investigation is continuing as investigators try to identify who is behind the tampering.

Anyone with information about these incidents is asked to call the Nanaimo RCMP at 250-754-2345. To remain anonymous, contact Crime Stoppers at www.nanaimocrimestoppers.com or call 1-800-222-8477.



photos@nanaimobulletin.com

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

Just Posted

LETTER TO THE EDITOR: Tier 3 Bantam Championships

“The packed arena and electricity within was fantastic.”

Port Hardy RCMP issues warning about recent overdose

“Our primary concern is public safety. We are urging the public to be aware of what is circulating.”

Port Hardy RCMP looking for volunteers who are interested in public safety

“The volunteer program will include community and crime prevention programs”

Suspicious fire in Alert Bay burns two homes, spreads to nearby bush

Police say underage suspects have been identified

VIDEO: North Island Bantam Eagles tie Dawson Creek Canucks in front of massive hometown crowd in Port Hardy

The Tier 3 Bantam Championships continued in style last night at the Don Cruickshank Memorial Arena.

Sparks fly as SUV speeds down wrong side of Highway 1 trying to flee RCMP

Captured on video, the vehicle headed westbound against oncoming traffic before crashing

Calgary captain has 3 points as Flames torch Canucks 3-1

Giordano leads way as Alberta side cracks 100-point plateau

Fire crews battle large blaze at Courtenay hostel

Courtenay Fire Chief Don Bardonnex said nobody was injured

1,300 cruise ship passengers rescued by helicopter amid storm off Norway’s coast

Rescue teams with helicopters and boats were sent to evacuate the cruise ship under extremely difficult circumstances

B.C. university to offer first graduate program on mindfulness in Canada

University of the Fraser Valley says the mostly-online program focuses on self-care and well being

Province announces $18.6 million for B.C. Search and Rescue

The funding, spread over three years, to pay for operations, equipment, and training

Late-season wave of the flu makes its round in B.C.

BC Centre for Disease Control reported 50 per cent jump in flu cases in first weeks of March

Tofino’s housing crisis causing some to seek shelter at the local hospital

Tofino’s housing crisis is pushing the town’s ‘hidden homeless’ population into the forefront.

Sentencing judge in Broncos crash calls for carnage on highways to end

Judge Inez Cardinal sentenced Jaskirat Singh Sidhu to eight years

Most Read