TREXLERTOWN, Penn. (NEXSTAR) – Police in Pennsylvania are warning grocery shoppers to check their purchases for needles after a teenage employee was accused of tampering with multiple food items earlier this week.
The juvenile employee is now facing charges, the Pennsylvania State Police say.
Troopers with the state police were first alerted to possible tampering on Wednesday after shoppers at a Giant supermarket in Trexlertown, in Lehigh County, began returning their groceries.
“Upon investigation, it was determined an employee had put sewing needles into grocery items,” the state police wrote in a news release issued the following day.
Police said the affected foods included bagged veggies and Tastykake items, but urged any shoppers who recently made purchases at the Giant location in Lower Macungie to inspect their groceries for signs of tampering.
A representative for Giant further indicated that several other grocery categories could have been affected, based on surveillance video at the center of the investigation.
“The safety of our customers is GIANT’S top priority,” the company wrote in a statement provided to News 2’s parent company, Nexstar. “Out of an abundance of caution, the company has removed some products from shelves at its Trexlertown store. The categories believed to be affected include: single serve Tastykakes, fresh bagged green beans, loose sweet yellow and white onions, fresh green asparagus, soft packaged dog food and treats, soft packaged cat food and treats, instant mashed potatoes (boxed) and cleaning sponges.”
Customers can also return any such items — if they were purchased after 5 p.m. on April 13 at the Trexlertown store — for a full refund, the company said.
The employee, who was not identified by police, has been terminated. No other stores are affected by the incident, the company added.