PORTLAND, Maine — The former plant worker suspected of putting razor blades into pizza dough that was sold at Maine supermarkets and grocery stores could be brought back to York County Jail as early as Tuesday afternoon, according to Saco police Sgt. Chris Hardiman, after being arraigned in Dover District Court in New Hampshire earlier in the morning.
Nicholas Mitchell, 38, faces two felony charges of reckless conduct with a dangerous weapon and violating conditions of release, according to Hardiman.
He was arrested Sunday night in Dover after a warrant was served by the Saco police.
Mitchell is a former employee of It’ll Be Pizza, a Scarborough-based manufacturing company that makes several kinds of pizza dough, including the Portland Pie Co. dough that was sold at Hannaford, where customers first reported finding the tampered dough.
Hannaford Supermarkets has recalled Portland Pie Co. cheese and fresh dough sold in its deli department since Aug. 1, and has removed Portland Pie Co. products from stores in Maine, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, New York and Vermont.
Shaw’s, Star Markets and other supermarkets carrying the products have done the same.
Police reported that customers had found tampered dough on Oct. 5, but people in southern Maine said they have found scraps of metal in their pizza dough since mid-August.
AdriAnne Cole Curtis, a 33-year-old schoolteacher who lives in Sanford, said she found a tampered package of pizza dough that her family bought at the Hannaford in Sanford on Aug. 14. When the family went to make the pizza for dinner on Aug. 17, they found scraps of metal poking out of the package.
Curtis said the incident has caused her daughter a lot of anxiety. She said her daughter still makes her inspect for metal before they buy pizza dough at the grocery store.
“It really scared her. She had trouble sleeping for about a week afterwards and kept asking how the metal got in the dough. We had to watch YouTube videos about pizza dough manufacturing over and over because she wanted to understand how it could have happened.”
Curtis assumed the metal scraps she found in the dough this August was nothing malicious and just “some rare mistake.” She returned the pizza dough to the Hannaford store manager that week and received a refund.