Sacked pizza factory worker admits stuffing razor blades into crusts

An employee at a factory that manufactured pizza bases for several supermarkets across the US East Coast has pleaded guilty to tampering with a consumer product after razor blades were found in the products.

Nicholas Mitchell, 39, of Dover, New Hampshire, was fired from his job in June 2020. On October 5 he was spotted entering a Saco supermarket and loitering near a a display cabinet where the pizza bases were stored.

Later that day, three customers reported finding razor blades embedded in pizza dough bought from the supermarket.

After receiving complaints from customers, supermarket staff removed the other pizza bases and found at least one more razor blade in the process.

Later that day the Saco Police Department received a call from a local Hannaford Supermarket regarding a case suspected food tampering in a Portland Pie Pizza dough.

'The review of store security surveillance footage revealed a person tampered with the packaging of several Portland Pie Pizza doughs,' authorities said.

The CCTV footage has not been released to the public.

Hannaford supermarkets have issued a recall for all Portland Pie dough and cheese products sold between August 1 and October 11 at its 184 stores in New York, Massachusetts, Vermont, New Hampshire and Maine.

“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,” a statement from the company read.

“Out of an abundance of caution, Hannaford has expanded its recall for Portland Pie pizza dough to include all Portland Pie branded products at all Hannaford stores,” the company added.

That recall was later expanded to a number of other supermarkets in the area, although no injuries or illnesses related to the incident have been reported.

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