A food factory worker has been arrested on charges he sprinkled glass and other debris into Chinese vegetable dumplings.Albert Vidal Torres, of Ontario, pleaded not guilty Monday to federal charges of tampering with consumer products. The charges carry a maximum sentence of 40 years in federal prison.
Prosecutors say Torres, 33, contaminated the wontons in 2003 during the manufacturing process at Golden Crown Foods in Industry. The company has since moved to Ontario.
The dumplings were shipped to markets across the state. Golden Crown Foods discovered the contamination after customers complained about finding odd things in their wontons.
In addition to glass, prosecutors believe Torres also contaminated the dumplings with seeds, pebbles and spit.
Nobody was hurt, although the company was forced to recall and destroy nearly $23,000 worth of dumplings, according to the U.S. Attorney’s Office in Los Angeles.
Torres allegedly told his employer he did it to retaliate against the company after it fired his brother-in-law, prosecutors said. The company has since retooled its manufacturing processes to make its products less vulnerable to attack.
Torres is named in a five-count indictment that also charges him with using a fraudulent green card and possessing a fake Social Security number