Arrest made in west-end food tampering incidents

An arrest has been made in connection with multiple food tampering incidents in Bloor West area grocery stores.

On July 9, police arrested 78-year-old Josephine Baz, who is now facing 10 counts of mischief under $5,000. She is not being held by police, and is expected to be in court Aug. 23.

Baz was apprehended in a grocery store on Dundas Street West. Detective Jordan Latter of 11 Division, said he could not say whether she was arrested ‘in the act’.

Police say there have been 10 incidents of food-tampering that have occurred dating back to January.

The tampered meat products were found in four grocery stores in West Toronto – with three of those stores in the Bloor West neighbourhood.

Toronto Police Services had been investigating Piller’s Polish Sausage, Kolbassa Sausage, and Turkey Kolbassa, which were found to have sewing needles embedded in them.

In each case, the products were purchased at the store, then the customer discovered later on that there was a needle embedded in the product.

The three stores in Bloor West affected by the tampering were No Frills at 372 Pacific Ave., where two products were reported to have been tampered with, then one each at No Frills at 2187 Bloor St West, and Price Chopper at 2440 Dundas St West.

Tracy Chisholm, spokesperson for Sobeys, which operates Price Chopper along with other grocery outlets, and she said food safety at the grocery chain is always a priority.

“We’re diligent on that 365 days a year,” she said.

“(Even with) the recent activities from the police, we can’t rest on our laurels as a result of that. We have to remain diligent and we have to remain focused.”