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Safety pin found in baby food jar

June 05, 2004

Jackson Bell

Police are working with local grocers and a baby food manufacturer to

inspect their stock after a customer reported finding a safety pin in

a jar of food this week, authorities said Friday.

The investigation began after a 27-year-old Burbank man fed his

infant daughter a bottle of Beechnut sweet potatoes and chicken

dinner Wednesday night, Sgt. Jay Jette said.

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"There were no injuries," Jette said. "The item never ended up in

the kid's mouth."

The parent bought the baby food at one of three Ralphs

supermarkets in the city, but Jette could not specify which one.

Items packaged and shipped with the tainted food have been pulled

from the stores' shelves, and investigators are determining how many

more grocers should follow suit, he added.

Police are unsure how or where the safety pin was placed in the

bottle. But Lisa Lewis, a spokeswoman for St. Louis- based Beechnut

Nutrition Corp., does not believe the tampering happened in the

manufacturing stage.

"Unfortunately, the customer doesn't recall if the safety button

was down or if there was a loud pop when opened," said Lewis,

referring to the bottle's safety devices.

Lewis said Friday that Beechnut is cooperating with police, but

doesn't plan to recall items until investigators tell the company

otherwise.

This incident does not appear to be connected to the contaminated

bottle of baby food found earlier this week in Irvine, Jette said.

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