A man has been arrested on suspicion of placing razor blades inside pizza dough which was then purchased by customers in Maine.
Nicholas Mitchell, 38, was arrested after the Saco Police Department identified him as a suspect in the food tampering case.
The Saco Hannaford Supermarket notified police on October 6 to report that razor blades had been found inside Portland Pie Pizza dough after a customer complained.
Surveillance footage showed that a suspect had tampered with the packaging of several Portland Pie Pizza dough items inside the store.
The Saco Police Department identified Mitchell as a suspect and asked the public for help in locating him.
“Nicholas Mitchell is a former associate of ‘It’ll be Pizza company’ who manufactures product for Portland Pie,” a Saco Police Department spokesperson said.
Police added that at the time of the food tampering incident, the suspect was driving a 2005 gray or silver-colored Toyota Camry with a black left front fender and a sunroof, with ME registration 6134XP.
In a separate statement, Saco Police confirmed the suspect has been taken into custody in Dover, New Hampshire, located more than 30 miles away from the Hannaford store.
“NH Police Department located Nicholas Mitchell and took him into custody on the outstanding warrant for his arrest in the Hannaford‘s Portland Pie pizza dough razor blade case,” the Saco Police Department said.
It is unclear what the suspect’s motive was to place the razor blades inside the dough. The Saco Police Department has been contacted for further comment.
Elsewhere, Hannaford issued a product recall “out of an abundance of caution” and urged all customers who purchased Portland Pie pizza dough and Portland Pie cheese sold in the deli at any Hannaford store between August 11 and October 11 not to consume them and return the product to the store for a full refund.
Customers are urged to also check storage areas including freezers for products that may have been purchased and frozen during this timeframe.
“Hannaford Supermarkets has issued a recall for all Portland Pie cheese and Portland Pie fresh dough sold in the deli department,” the supermarket said in a statement.
“After what is believed to be further malicious tampering incidents involving metal objects inserted into Portland Pie products, Hannaford has removed all Portland Pie products from all store shelves and has paused replenishment of the products indefinitely.
“Hannaford continues to cooperate with investigating authorities.”
There have been no reported injuries or illnesses as a result of the food tampering.
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