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Food Tested in Bay Area After Poison Scare

July 19, 1986|From Times Wire Services

BERKELEY — State technicians Friday began testing samples of three batches of fruit and vegetables removed from stores in the San Francisco Bay Area after anonymous callers claimed the produce was poisoned.

William Ihle, spokesman for the state Department of Health Services, said results of the tests will not be available until Monday.

"We have found a few items that we feel to be suspicious," Ihle said.

The produce came from two Lucky stores in Redwood City and a Safeway in Union City, he said.

A man called Lucky's regional office in San Leandro and a San Francisco television station Thursday claiming to have injected the fruits and vegetables with cyanide and strychnine.

The stores were closed for about four hours while workers, local police and state health inspectors removed the produce and new products were brought from the San Leandro distribution center.

Company spokeswoman Judy Decker said the stores were offering refunds to people who returned produce bought there. Another Lucky spokesman, Ken Cope, said the produce removed from the store was worth more than $6,000.

The Union City Safeway removed lettuce from its shelves Friday after receiving a similar call.

Ihle said the Safeway store in Union City got a call from a man who claimed to have placed arsenic in the store's lettuce. The lettuce was removed from sale immediately and was being examined by investigators, Ihle said.

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