Check your meat: Man arrested for putting needles in food

sequest meat

Federal authorities arrested Ronald Avers, 68, of East St. Louis, Illinois for tampering with food. Avers admitted that he went to the  Shop `n Save store in Belleville, Illinois and inserted sewing needles in packaged meat “Just for the hell of it.”

In an affidavit, FBI Agent Daniel Cook stated that Shop ‘n Save alerted his office on July 9, 2014 of the food tampering. An incident occurred in May of 2013 when a customer found a needle in a package of ground beef. Then four months later a store employee found a needle sticking out of a package of pork chops. According to the complaint, customers then reported multiple findings of needles in meat from the store.


Avers was caught last Tuesday when he came into the store on his motorized scooter and oxygen tank. He was observed handling meat but not placing any of it in his buggy for purchase. When he was confronted in the store parking lot and consented to a search of his vehicle, authorities found an open package of sewing needles. At first, Avers stated it was to fix his pants but then later admitted to his crimes. Avers is quoted as saying, “Every now and then I would stick one in a hamburger … Mostly hamburger, a couple of times I did it with a roast, maybe a pork chop every now and then.”

Avers appeared in court this past Thursday and faces up to ten years in prison and a $250,000 fine for each count of tampering.


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