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Don’t freak out, but a guy was contaminating salad bars with rat poison

According to the FBI and Ann Arbor police, a man has been arrested for putting rat poison and hand cleaner on self-serve salad bars at Whole Foods and other grocery stores. Apparently he’d been doing it for (gulp) two weeks. No deaths or illnesses related to the incidents have been reported. Yet.

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Mr. Poison was caught by surveillance camera. In a statement the FBI said, “Our joint investigation leads us to believe that this individual sprayed a liquid mixture of hand cleaner, water and Tomcat mice poison on produce in the following three grocery stores” — a Whole Foods, a Meijer and a Plum Market in Ann Arbor, Michigan.

And you may now scream.

Yes, even you, dear reader who lives nowhere near Ann Arbor, Michigan. I don’t live anywhere near there either, but my first thought was, “Wow, I can’t believe this hasn’t already been a thing.” And my next thought was, “This is totally going to be a thing now.” Because all you have to do is plant that evil seed, and there are just enough twisted individuals out there with a vendetta against the human race who will think, “You know, I really should try to extend myself beyond the usual hateful internet trolling and go cause some real damage.”

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I mean, it’s not like they post guards around grocery store salad bars. We all just blithely pile on the pesto tortellini salad and the mini mozzarella ball caprese with a sweet, childlike trust. And we have no idea who has done what with that food before we got there.

So yeah, sorry if I’m a little paranoid, but I’m going to be a little distrustful of salad bars for the next few months (until this news cycle dies down and I forget, N.B. psychotic poisoners).

Anyway, back to the people of Ann Arbor. Jamie Clover Adams of the state’s Department of Agriculture and Rural Development is urging people “out of an abundance of caution” 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.” You don’t say!

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I’m just glad this hasn’t caused any serious harm for anyone. Word of caution to all of us, meanwhile. Now we have one more thing to fear: the unguarded salad bar.

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