Wednesday, 17 April 2013

Poisoned bread: Rat poison, ‘Thank you’ letter puts 25 employees in hospital

Poisoned bread: Rat poison, ‘Thank you’ letter puts 25 employees in hospital, Poisoned bread accompanied with a signed “Thank you” letter and wishes for a good appetite was left at the main and side entrance of the 250-employee plastics factory Müller-Technik in Germany. The German custom of bringing bread (instead of cake or donuts) to work for fellow employees backfired on Tuesday when it turned out that the bread was poisoned, reported the German newspaper Bild on April 17, 2013.

One employee of the Müller-Technik company told Bild that,

“Ich habe mich über die Brötchen gefreut, dann aber nur einmal abgebissen. Irgendwie schmeckte das Brötchen trocken und alt. Als die rosa Körner auffallen, macht einer einen Witz, es handle sich wohl um Rattengift.”

“I was really happy about the sandwiches, but I only took one bite. Somehow the bread tasted dry and old. When someone saw the pink seeds, one person made the joke that it must be rat poison.”

As it turned out, it was not a joke and the sandwiches did indeed contain rat poison and 25 employees of the company had to be taken to emergency hospitals. Since the sandwiches had deli meat and cheese on them, employees did not notice the poison until they had already consumed some of it and noticed an unusual taste.

Some of the bread was taken to a laboratory in Berlin where tests confirmed that the bread had been laced with rat poison but that the amount of rat poison on the bread was insufficient to kill someone.

All 25 employees are in hospitals in Germany and will remain under observation for 72 hours in ICU units. None of the employees who have consumed the poisoned bread have shown any symptoms of rat poisoning so far.

Rat poison can be deadly and police officers are investigating whether a disgruntled former coworker left the bread. The “Thank you” letter left with the two boxes of poisoned bread on both the main entrance and the side entrance of the factory was signed with an illegible name but “thanked” the company’s leadership and other coworkers and wished everyone a good appetite.

Police are saying that whoever left the poisoned bread must have been familiar with the almost daily tradition of bringing bread to work for other coworkers. The fact that the bread was laced with sufficient rat poison to make someone sick but not kill someone also indicates that this was the deed of someone with a grudge, not with the intend to kill.

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