No contaminated food from seized truck reached area restaurants
By William K. Alcorn
The contaminated food found in a refrigerated box truck headed for restaurants in Northeast Ohio and Northwest Pennsylvania was destroyed and the salvageable food, such as canned soy sauces and oils, was returned to the Cincinnati warehouse from which it came.
The Ohio Department of Agriculture ended its investigation into the matter once it made sure the raw chicken, meat and seafoods and the vegetables contaminated by juice from the meats were properly disposed of, an ODA spokeswoman said. None of the food reached any of the nine area food establishments listed on shipping documents.
Restaurant owners who were contacted Wednesday said there was no chance the contaminated food would reach customers because they always inspect food delivered for freshness.
No charges were levied by the ODA against the driver or Aspiron Inc., the trucking firm, or Eternal Food Services, the food supplier, both of Cincinnati. About $8,000 worth of food was destroyed. Also, the spokeswoman said, the Eternal Food warehouse was inspected and nothing was found to cause alarm.
The contaminated food was discovered during an inspection by the Ohio State Highway Patrol after the truck was stopped for lane and commercial violations on Interstate 75 in Butler County near Cincinnati on Aug. 15.
While the truck was being weighed — it was 7,000 pounds over the limit — the inspector noticed fluid leaking from the rear of the cargo area and a bad odor, leading to involvement of the ODA and the Ohio Department of Health in the investigation, officials said.