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Hannaford blames technology error for failure to report tampering with pizza dough

There was a failure in an email system that prevented the reports of razor blades in pizza dough in August from being elevated beyond the store level, the company said.
There was a failure in an email system that prevented the reports of razor blades in pizza dough in August from being elevated beyond the store level, the company said.(Gray tv)
Published: Oct. 15, 2020 at 6:53 AM EDT
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SANFORD, Maine (WMTW) - Hannaford is blaming a technology error in its reporting system for failing to report razor blades being found in pizza dough.

Nicholas Mitchell, of New Hampshire, is accused of placing razor blades in pizza dough at the Hannaford in Saco this month.

However, our media partner, WMTW News 8 has learned that two customers in Sanford returned dough that contained razor blades back in August.

Hannaford released a statement Wednesday saying there was a notification error in the company’s reporting system.

There was a failure in an email system that prevented the reports of razor blades in pizza dough in August from being elevated beyond the store level, the company said.

“This technological error does not meet our high standards, and we apologize that it occurred. We have addressed the IT issue and are adding additional reporting processes to ensure this situation never happens again,” the statement said.

Hannaford has recalled all Portland Pie cheese and Portland Pie fresh dough sold in the deli department at all stores. The recall initially involved only the store in Saco.

“We took comprehensive action to mitigate any potential harm to the public, broadening our recall well beyond the stores in scope of the tampering. We expanded the recall to all stores out of an abundance of caution,” the company said.

Shaw’s and Star Market announced Tuesday the company is removing Portland Pie Co. pizza dough from the shelves of its supermarkets in Maine, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, Vermont and Rhode Island.

The Portland Pie dough is made at It’ll Be Pizza in Scarborough.

Saco police said Mitchell used to work there. Mitchell appeared in court Tuesday and agreed to be brought back to Maine.

Saco police said Wednesday that the hope is Mitchell will extradited to Maine on Thursday where he will be charged with reckless conduct with a dangerous weapon and violating conditions of release.

It’ll be Pizza CEO Mike White also issued a statement that said the incident has no direct connection to Portland Pie or any of its restaurants.

White said the company is working closely with law enforcement and the supermarket chains. He said Mitchell is a former employee of the company.

“Due to the ongoing nature of the criminal investigation, we cannot make further comment at this time. We remain committed to our customers, our distribution partners, and to the continued excellence and safety of our products,” White said.

It’ll be Pizza said Mitchell worked for the company until June of this year.

The company did not specify why Mitchell, who was a forklift driver, was no longer employed there, only saying: “There were logical and very compelling reasons why Mr. Mitchell’s employment did not last more than 15 months. IBP has turned over all relevant documentation to the Saco Police Department.”

Copyright 2020 WMTW. All rights reserved.

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