25 workers taken to hospital after eating sandwiches laced with rat poison at German factory


Click to follow
The Independent Online

Twenty-five workers from a German factory reportedly been sent to hospital after eating sandwiches laced with rat poison.

According to German newspaper Bild, staff at Mueller-Technik, a car parts company in the north-western town of Steinfeld, had eaten the sandwiches after two batches were left with a thank you note at the front and side entrances of their building on Tuesday morning, inkeeping with a German tradition of bread-giving.

Workers described the bread as tasting old and dry before discovering pink seeds underneath the fillings of meat and cheese.

Emergency services were immediately called and 25 of the 250-strong workforce were sent to hospital for observation in intensive care units, though none are yet to show any symptoms of poisoning.

Samples of the contaminated bread were sent to a laboratory in Berlin where it was confirmed to contain small amounts of rat poison, but not enough to kill.

One employee told Bild: "I was really happy about the sandwiches, but I only took one bite. Somehow the bread tasted dry and old. When someone saw the pink seeds, one person made the joke that it must be rat poison."

Police are saying that whoever left the sandwiches must have been familiar with the company and its almost daily custom of bringing food to work for other coworkers, but that the small amount of rat poison indicated that the perpetrator was likely to be someone with a grudge rather than with an intent to kill.

Helmut Kohanke, managing director of Mueller-Technik, told a press conference that there had been no problems with staff and that no one had recently been made redundant.