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FBI: Man Sprayed Poison on Several Michigan Grocery Store Salad Bars

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By Glynn Cosker
Managing Editor, In Homeland Security

A man is being held on a $250,000 cash bond after he was charged with spraying poison on numerous grocery stores’ fresh produce and salad bars in Michigan.

Kyle Bessemer, 29, stood before an Ann Arbor judge Thursday, facing two felony charges of knowingly poisoning people and two more felony charges of poisoning property causing damage.

“It’s a very scary crime that happened,” stated Washtenaw County prosecutor Brian Mackie. “Thankfully as far as we know, nobody has been hurt.”

Michigan law enforcement officials and the FBI stated that Bessemer confessed to spraying a toxic concoction onto uncovered fresh food, olive bars and salad bars at three Ann Arbor grocery stores including Plum Market, Meijer and Whole Foods. However, it’s feared that many other area stores may be affected.

Spray Contained Rat Poison

Bessemer allegedly combined hand sanitizer, rat poison and water for his toxic mixture and was seen on surveillance cameras purchasing the ingredients; the rat poison component is an anticoagulant that causes rodents to bleed internally until they die. It produces varying symptoms in humans, depending on how much is ingested.

The Washtenaw County Public Health released this statement:

“Washtenaw County Public Health is working with state authorities, local law enforcement and the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) to respond to an incident of intentional food contamination. Prior to Wed, May 4, Washtenaw County Public Health had not received any unusual reports of illness. Currently, we have several reports of vomiting and/or diarrhea. These are being actively investigated for possible connection to this incident.”

State health officials told local TV channels in Michigan that Bessemer could have sprayed uncovered foods in more than a dozen other stores in Michigan – possibly including Flint, Midland and Saline.

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

Based on the FBI investigation, here is a list of the stores that were possibly targeted in the poisoning spree:

Busch’s
2240 S Main Street
Ann Arbor, MI

Cupcake Station
116 E Liberty
Ann Arbor, MI

Family Fare
2026 North Saginaw
Midland, MI

Kroger
3838 Richfield Road
Flint, MI

Meijer, #108
7300 Eastman Ave
Midland, MI

Meijer, #64
3145 Ann Arbor-Saline
Ann Arbor, MI

Meijer, #213
9515 Birch Run Rd
Birch Run, MI

Millers Mini Mart
3001 Bay City Rd
Midland, MI

Plum Market
375 North Maple
Ann Arbor, MI

Target
2000 Waters Road
Ann Arbor, MI

Tsai Grocery
3115 Oak Valley Drive
Ann Arbor, MI

Walmart
910 Joe Mann Blvd
Midland, MI

Walmart
7000 E Michigan Ave
Saline, MI

Whole Foods
990 W Eisenhower Pkwy
Ann Arbor, MI

Whole Foods
3135 Washtenaw Ave
Ann Arbor, MI

Consumers are urged to contact Michigan Poison Control at 1-800-222-1222 with any questions or concerns.

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