PROSECUTORS called the case of a Worcestershire factory worker contaminating food bound for top restaurants "extremely disturbing".

Garry Jones, 38, of Larch Road, Evesham was jailed for contaminating/interfering with goods with intent and burglary at Worcester Crown Court on Tuesday (October 3)

The court heard Jones added metal ring pulls, gloves and plastic bags into pots of hummus and added fish into fish-free products which could have been potentially life-threatening to anyone allergic to it.

Mehree Kamranfar, Senior Crown Prosecutor for Crown Prosecution Service West Midlands, said: “This was an extremely disturbing case that could have had far-reaching implications had the defendant not been caught.

Worcester News: JAILED: Garry JonesJAILED: Garry Jones (Image: West Mercia Police)

“Jones knowingly and maliciously contaminated food products that were going to be distributed to some of the most popular high street restaurants across the country.

“The cross-contamination caused alarm both within the company and externally, as Jones’s utter disregard, particularly in mixing fish sauce with raw ingredients, could have threatened serious harm to those with allergies.

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“In addition, sabotaging the food products supplied by Harvey & Brockless not only cost the firm thousands of pounds, it also threatened to destroy the company’s reputation.

“When faced with the overwhelming evidence presented by the prosecution team Jones pleaded guilty to both charges.

"I want to thank West Midlands Police and the prosecution team for building the strongest possible case, which saw him convicted and today sentenced.”

In a previous statement, Nick Martin, managing director of Harvey & Brockless, said: “Everyone at the company is shocked and appalled at the criminal actions of Garry Jones.

“However, the robust quality assurance and product recall procedures in place at Harvey & Brockless meant that no contaminated products ever reached any end consumers.

Worcester News: CONTAMINATED: Garry Jones contaminated food productsCONTAMINATED: Garry Jones contaminated food products (Image: CPS)

“As soon as we became aware of the contaminations taking place, we recalled the entire batch of products involved and communicated openly with all our customers and with the Environmental Health Officer.

“This swift action meant all end consumers were fully protected from any contaminated products.

“The vast majority of the products involved never even reached their destination, and any items that did were quickly returned before reaching the end consumer.

“This incident was obviously disturbing, but Harvey & Brockless is pleased that the Worcester Environmental Health Officer noted the ‘totally professional way’ the company dealt with resolving the matter.

“Following this incident, we have fully reviewed all of our quality assurance and product recall procedures, and found that these all worked well.

“We already had multiple CCTV cameras in operation at our site, but have now invested in extra security cameras to ensure that all areas are fully covered."