Talk about a crappy day. On Sun. Oct. 15, a “disgruntled former contractor” allegedly unleashed a shitstorm at the West Ashley Harris Teeter at St. Andrews Shopping Center.
According to the Post & Courier, Pau S. Hang, 41, was arrested and charged with damaging personal property after spraying produce with what officials on the scene believed to be feces. Charles Francis, Charleston police department spokesman, says Hang sprayed a “brown liquid” on various food products.
City Paper Art Director Scott Suchy reported that he walked in the grocery store just as staff were frantically throwing produce out. “They even cleared out all the pre-made deli food. I knew it was really bad when I was line at the register and someone asked, ‘What’s going on?’ And the clerk said, ‘I’m not allowed to say,'” says Suchy.
Hang has been charged with trespassing violations at least nine times since November 2015, according to the Al Cannon Detention Center website.
Harris Teeter communication manager Danna Robinson says that Charleston County Department of Health has been contacted following the incident.
“Food safety and quality are paramount to Harris Teeter. We were extremely alarmed and disappointed to learn that yesterday, a disgruntled, former contractor attempted to contaminate food products in the Produce department and Fresh Foods department inside our St. Andrews Shopping Center location,” writes Robinson. “Our valued associates immediately took action — closing down affected departments and notifying appropriate team members. Additionally, our associates properly discarded any and all product that was exposed to contamination as well as thoroughly cleaned and sanitized affected areas.”
Robinson adds that the affected departments will not re-open without the Charleston County Department of Health’s approval.
UPDATE: Harris Teeter has issued the following statement:
The Charleston County Department of Health has thoroughly inspected the St. Andrews Shopping Center Harris Teeter and confirmed that the company took appropriate action in response to the incident that occurred yesterday. Affected areas of the store have been thoroughly cleaned and sanitized, and the local and state regulators have given us permission to re-open our departments. Our teams are in the process of re-stocking. Harris Teeter appreciates the community’s patience while we worked to correct the actions of one former contractor.