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Two Upstate NY Police agencies are investigating two separate incidents involving needles in bread products
FAIRFIELD, N.Y. (WKTV) - Jimmy Salamone of Fairfield says that when he heard about someone being served sandwiches aboard Delta Airlines flights last month with sewing needles in them, he never thought something similar would happen to him.
However, he says it did this past week.
Salamone says he bought two loaves of Italian bread last week from the Big M Supermarket in Little Falls and that one of those loaves contained a sewing needle, which he only found after that needle punctured the inside of his mouth. Salamone says he made a ham and swiss sandwich Saturday afternoon and was punctured by what he thought was a wire. That wire he says turned out to be a rather long sewing needle.
During our interview on Friday, Salamone showed us his release statements from Little Falls Hospital from Saturday, August 4, where he was treated and released for his injuries. Salamone says he received a tetanus shot, but has no idea whether the needle had anything on it that could have infected him.
Salamone says he does not have a lawyer.
"I'm not looking for lawsuits," he said. "In fact they (Big M) told me they would give me a refund on my bread. I said that I'm really not interested in a refund as much as I am letting people know this is happening."
The bread that Salamone purchased is labeled under the Big M label, but Little Falls Big M store owner Jim Colomb says the bread is produced by Freihofer's, which is owned by an umbrella company called Bimbo Bakeries U.S.A. out of Horsham, Pennsylvania.
Bimbo Bakeries U.S.A. has many major brands under it, like Freihofer's and Entemann's, among others.
Colomb's only comment for us regarding this story was "we don't know how this happened."
Salamone says after he found the needle, he called Little Falls Police.
"They told me to give everything to Big M, which I did," Salamone said. "They, in turn, gave everything to this Bimbo Bakeries U.S.A.."
David Marguiles, of Marguiles Communications, which does the media relations for Bimbo Bakeries U.S.A., told NEWSChannel Two on Friday, "we have gotten the product from the supermarket and we are checking it out. But all of our bakeries have metal detectors. All I can say is, we are checking this out."
Little Falls Police Chief Michael Maci says his department is looking into the matter and doing what it can to make sure this doesn't happen to someone else.
We have also found out that on the the very same day Jimmy Salamone says he encountered a needle in his bread last Saturday, a woman in Hudson, which is south of Albany, says she was making egg salad sandwiches using hot dog buns she bought from Walmart, and found two needles in two separate buns, but luckily she says she found them before she made the sandwiches.
We talked to that woman's son-in-law, Rodney Waithe by phone on Friday.
Waithe is a police officer for the Hudson Police Department and describes how his mother-in-law found the needles.
"She discovered a needle in one of the buns," he said. "She brought it to her daughter's attention. They examined the rest of the rolls and found a second needle in a second bun."
Officer Waithe says these two incidents appear to be very suspicious.
"Definitely something that was intentional. Somebody is up to no good. Not sure to what extent, if it's just somebody pulling a prank thinking it is funny or it goes beyond that point, but it's something that needs to be looked into by law enforcement," he said.
A Walmart spokesperson told NEWSChannel Two on Friday that the company turned over all of the evidence to the Columbia County Sheriff's Department which is investigating.
We contacted the F.B.I. out of Albany to see if the F.B.I. is involved like they are with the Delta Airlines cases, but we were told the F.B.I. would only get involved if the local agencies doing the investigating asked for their assistance, and so far they have not.
Salamone and Waithe both say they hope this investigation here in New York State leads somewhere.
Salamone adds, "My concern right now is making sure the public is vigilant when they're buying bread products...they're going to have to feel their bread."
One other note, we contacted local attorney Mark Wolber, who says if something similar happens to you, do not bring the packaging and so-called 'weapon' to the store where you bought it, like Salamone did per police.
Wolber says keep it or give it to police and make sure you get a receipt for it from police, "If you are the consumer and you have got this product that has been tampered with in some way, you have the package that it came in with the object, retain that object in your possession and if the police want to do some forensics on it, the police can take it and give you a receipt."