German police arrest suspect in baby-food poisoning threats

Associated Press reports that German authorities said Saturday they are confident that a 53-year-old man arrested a day earlier is behind a blackmail attempt that saw jars of poisoned baby food placed on store shelves in southern Germany.

Prosecutors said investigators found the same poison — ethylene glycol, a compound used in antifreeze — when they arrested the man Friday near the southwestern city of Tuebingen.

Chief prosecutor Alexander Boger told a news conference in Konstanz, on Germany’s southern border, that the man hadn’t confessed but the evidence against him was substantial.

DNA found on the baby food jars and pictures taken with a supermarket surveillance camera also pointed to the suspect, who wasn’t identified due to German privacy rules, prosecutors said.

Authorities and companies received an email this month threatening to poison unspecified food at German retailers inside the country and beyond unless more than 10 million euros ($11.8 million) was paid by Saturday.

The blackmailer alerted authorities that five jars of baby food at shops in Friedrichshafen, near Konstanz, had been tampered with. Officials located the jars and found they contained ethylene glycol but said there’s no evidence that anyone was poisoned.

Sale of expired baby food investigated after Canadian infant falls ill

American retailer, Target, is moving into Canada, taking over a bunch of Zellers stores, which were bought by the original Hudson Bay Company in 1978 – Canada, beaver, pelts, etc.

Maybe Target can get the dates right on the babyfood it sells.

The Canadian Food Inspection Agency has investigated a reported case of food poisoning after an infant was fed baby food — sold by a retailer more than nine months after it had expired.

Kitchener, Ontario, mother Melodie White filed a complaint with the federal food watchdog and the local public health unit after her six-month-old son, Gabriel, became sick over the May long weekend.

She bought several cans of baby food at the Zellers store in the Laurentian Power Center a few weeks ago without realizing they had expired last summer. White became alarmed after she fed the food to her son and he developed a fever and diarrhea, she said.

Her son was sick for about four days, she said.

To back up her claims, White returned to the same store and bought another six cans, all expired. Then she called the store to complain.

The store removed the expired baby food after being made aware of the problem. Inspectors from both the Region of Waterloo Public Health and the inspection agency also visited the Zellers store to make sure the expired baby food was off the shelves.

Botulism in Danish baby food?

Have you noticed a trend? Blog posts at 4 a.m., bad baby metaphors, bad writing cause my brains are mush?

Must be a baby in the house.

The Norwegian Food Safety Authority (NFSA) writes on their website that there are suspicions that Hipp’s fruit purée with banana and apricot may contain Colstridium Botulinum, following an outbreak of illness in Denmark.

They are now recommending that all parents who have bought jars marked L35655, with a use-by date of 31.12.08 should throw them away.

The Danish Food Safety Authority has sent the fruit purée for test ananlysis, and a final confirmation as to whether the food is poisonous will come at the end of the week.

A quick trip to the Hipp Organic Baby Food web site finds lots of what isn’t in Hipp baby food like melamine or Irish pork, but no mention of botulism.