Man charged after food items injected with 'unknown substance' at London supermarkets

27 August 2021, 06:34

Forensics officers at one of the supermarkets yesterday
Forensics officers at one of the supermarkets yesterday. Picture: Alamy

By Asher McShane

A 37-year-old man has been charged with contaminating or interfering with goods with intent at three supermarkets in west London.

Leoaai Elghareeb, of Crabtree Lane, Fulham, is due before Westminster Magistrates' Court on Friday.

Officers in forensic suits were seen in Fulham Palace Road on Thursday at three stores - a Tesco Express, Little Waitrose and Sainsbury's Local - after the incidents on Wednesday evening.

Following the incident, Hammersmith & Fulham Council advised shoppers to throw away anything bought from the three shops late on Wednesday.

A police officer stands outside Little Waitrose on Fulham Palace Roa
A police officer stands outside Little Waitrose on Fulham Palace Roa. Picture: Alamy

The council said in a statement: "Members of the public are advised as a precaution to dispose of any food items bought from these supermarkets [on Wednesday] evening.

"H&F Council's Environmental Health team are now working with the supermarket branches affected."

On Thursday the Metropolitan Police said: "Police have arrested a man in Hammersmith and Fulham on suspicion of contamination of goods with intention of causing public harm or anxiety after foodstuffs at supermarkets were injected with needles.

"Officers were called at around 7.40pm after a man was reported to be shouting abuse at people in the street. The man is reported to have gone into three supermarkets in Fulham Palace Road SW6 and injected foodstuffs with a number of needles.

"He has been taken into police custody. The supermarkets have closed and crime scenes are in place.

"The food items affected are believed to be processed meat and microwaveable products.

"It is currently unknown as to how many items have been contaminated, or what with.

"Investigations are ongoing to establish if other businesses in the area are involved in the incident."