March 29, 2016 8:20 pm
Updated: March 30, 2016 7:29 am

RCMP lay charges after food contamination rumours in northern Sask.

A northern Saskatchewan health region says rumours of some foods in grocery stores contaminated with HIV unconfirmed.

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Allegations of a potential food contamination were circulating in a northern Saskatchewan community. La Ronge RCMP say a 48-year-old man is now facing charges in relation to a public mischief investigation.

At 1:30 p.m. CT on Monday, a call from a local business advised Mounties that someone had allegedly used a needle to contaminate food that were for sale at the business.

RCMP said they immediately notified health officials.

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According to the Mamawetan Churchill River Health Region, they learned of rumours circulating in La Ronge and surrounding areas that some foods in local grocery and convenience stores had been contaminated with HIV.

On Tuesday, the health region said there’s no evidence and it’s an unconfirmed allegation.

However, a precautionary approach was undertaken and stores in La Ronge, Air Ronge, and the Lac La Ronge Indian Band removed items such as fruits, vegetables, meat and baked goods.

According to RCMP, their investigation has determined that this information was unfounded.

Morton Cook, 48, is facing charges of public mischief, obstructing police officer and failing to comply with judges undertaking. The man from Stanley Mission has been remanded into custody and is scheduled to appear Thursday in La Ronge provincial court.

According to the health region, the risk of HIV from a food source is extremely low as it is a blood-borne virus and cannot be transmitted through food.

Food products taken off shelves are being put back up for sale after a risk assessment determined the allegation to be negligible.

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