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FBI Investigates Whole Foods Contamination Incident

| by Reve Fisher
Surveillance photo of suspectSurveillance photo of suspect

The FBI is searching for a man who allegedly sprinkled an unknown liquid on food products at a Whole Foods Market.

Surveillance photos from April 24 show a man sprinkling an unidentified substance on various products at a Whole Foods Market in Ann Arbor, Michigan, MLive reports.

Jill Washburn, spokesperson for the FBI, did not explicitly state the identity of the store affected by the incident, but she believes the surveillance photos will help to identify the suspect.

"We do not know what the substance was," Washburn said, according to MLive. "The only thing that he was seen sprinkling the substance on was food."

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Allison Phelps, Whole Food Market Public Relations representative, noted that an employee from the Eisenhower Parkway store saw a man pouring an unknown liquid on products at the food bars and alerted management.

"Out of an abundance of caution, all salad and hot food bars were immediately closed down at the store, all food was thrown out and the store team thoroughly cleaned and sanitized all food stations, equipment and serving utensils before restocking with fresh items," Phelps wrote in an email.

Whole Foods Market is working with the Ann Arbor Police Department. All locations in the surrounding area have been informed of the situation as well.

Although preliminary tests have shown that the substance is not harmful, Washburn has not "unequivocally" confirmed that the substance is not dangerous. She said the FBI would need to talk to the suspect before determining whether he would face charges in connection to the incident.

"I think we need to speak with him first," she said. "The photos are relatively clear, so someone should be able to notice who it is."

According to Washburn, media attention has provided the FBI and local police with several "viable leads" as to the identity of the suspect.

On Reddit, several commenters have tried to predict the exact substance that was used, as similar incidents have occurred at other dining establishments.

"I hope this is a misunderstanding and not someone being really stupid," Redditor KingGoogley wrote.

"That's so creepy, there is no legitimate reason for doing this," Redditor slidingslowly noted.

Sources: MLive (2), Reddit / Photo Credit: MLive

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