A shopper forced shut three supermarkets after plunging a syringe into food on shelves, it has been alleged.
Police have urged customers to bin any food bought from the branches of Tesco, Sainsbury's and Waitrose in Fulham, West London which were placed into lockdown on Wednesday evening, the Sun reports.
Shoppers were warned to stay away and cordons were put up outside each of the three shops as police forensic teams investigated a mystery substance allegedly injected into items.
Witnesses claim the suspect was shouting abuse at people outside on Fulham Palace Road after heading into the city supermarkets.
The Metropolitan Police has confirmed that a man had been arrested on suspicion of contaminating food to cause "public harm or anxiety".
Despite not knowing exactly how many items had been tampered with, Hammersmith and Fulham Council believe the suspect targeted processed meat and microwaveable products.
Met 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 19:40hrs 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.
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"They are Little Waitrose, 201-207 Fulham Palace Road, SW6; Sainsbury's Local, 179-183 Fulham Palace Road, SW6 and Tesco Express, 168-188 Fulham Place Road, SW6.
"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 on-going to establish if other businesses in the area are involved in the incident.
"The Local Authority Environmental Health team have been informed and are working with the supermarket branches affected.
"Members of the public are advised as a precaution to dispose of any food items bought from these supermarkets this evening."
Hammersmith and Fulham Council is working with the impacted shops.
It tweeted on Wednesday evening: "The supermarkets – Tesco, Waitrose and Sainsbury's – have closed and crime scenes are in place.
"Officers were called at around 7.40pm after a man was reported to be shouting abuse at people in the street.
"The man is alleged to have visited three supermarkets on Fulham Palace Road and injected foodstuffs using a number of syringes. He has been taken into police custody.
"Members of the public are advised as a precaution to dispose of any food items bought from these supermarkets this evening.
"H&F Council's Environmental Health team are now working with the supermarket branches affected."
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