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Cooks Arrested For Tainting Food

Two short order cooks were put behind bars yesterday for intentionally contaminating food.

Jaime Perez and James Ledesma of Andy's Landing restaurant in Burnet, TX, were arrested on felony counts of tampering with a consumer product. According to a former co-worker, Perez put bodily secretions into Burnet Police Chief Paul Nelson's food. Allegations include spit, nose blowing, and wiping of hamburger buns on the cook's backside.

Apparently, previous run-ins with the law left Perez with ill will toward the police chief. The second cook, Ledesma, was around to witness the food contamination but failed to stop it or report it. If both are convicted, each could face up to 20 years in prison.

The police chief's food isn't the only item to be tainted — the restaurant will likely be left with a tarnished reputation as well. I'm revolted by the details, and saddened for the restaurant. The story also leaves me wondering how often "special ingredients" are added to diners' food. Do you worry about the same thing?


Join The Conversation
fuzzles fuzzles 8 years
It is for that very reason that many police officers will order take-out over the phone and give a fake name for when they pick up the food. Either that, or go to a place like Subway where the food is prepaired in front of them. It's very sad, but this asshat-ery does happen!
CaterpillarGirl CaterpillarGirl 8 years
If anyone has seen the Movie "Waiting" they might never eat out again.
Spectra Spectra 8 years
I hate restaurants and eating out because I'm so paranoid about them "tainting" food, intentionally and unintentionally. There are so many cases of food poisoning that happen every year from people at restaurants not washing their hands properly when they're cooking; not to mention what could happen if someone spit or sneezed or put other bodily secretions into the food. Also, I'm paranoid that I'll ask them to cook my food with no added butter/oil and they'll sautee the veggies in a half stick of butter or something. This is just one more reason for me to avoid restaurants.
ayyeung18 ayyeung18 8 years
I've worked as a waitress before and no matter how angry a patron makes us, nobody in the front of the house or in the back would purposely contaminate someone's food like that. It's disgusting! Mostly, we just roll our eyes and complain to each other later. As a patron, I usually don't send stuff back unless it's really inedible or complain to the waitstaffs' face unless it's something I find really, really, really lacking. I can sympathize, for one thing, and for another, I doubt everyone has the same self-restraint as we did back at the restaurant I worked at. I know how tempting it can be sometimes to mess with annoying customers.
aka-Daria aka-Daria 8 years
when the family goes out and something is not to our liking, we usually say "don't send it back, theyre jus gonna put 'special' sauce on it" it's kinda sad we jus accept it and don't say anything for fear of what they might do to it.
CaterpillarGirl CaterpillarGirl 8 years
I have heard friends of mine say that they deliberately dropped a meat patty on the floor and served it to an unruly customer, or spit in the food. it happens all the time.
bchicgrl bchicgrl 8 years
that's precisely why I won't complain about service (if needed) until I have my food in front of me that way there's no chance of them sabotaging it.
Jude-C Jude-C 8 years
I never tampered with other people's food, but I'm also always super nice to waitstaff if I have to send stuff back out of the fear that someone will tamper with mine.
hippiecowgirl hippiecowgirl 8 years
That's disgusting. I don't worry about it on a very regular basis, but it is something that crosses my mind when and if I have to send something back to the kitchen.
tapeplayingrobot tapeplayingrobot 8 years
I work as both a cook and server, and have never done anything to anyones food, no matter how bad they upset me. I have heard stories of other people doing things though, and its always bothered me. I am not above getting someone in trouble if I see or hear of anyone doing anything like that. Its plain wrong and disgusting, and I always worry about that issue if I complain about something when I go out. There's always a few bad apples.
Blackwidowchick Blackwidowchick 8 years
I am with bluepuppybites, I used to be a server and as much as I disliked a customer, I never tampered with anyone's food because that is just sooo revolting. I could never do that to anybody. The cooks never did that stuff either as far as I knew.
mtiger mtiger 8 years
I agree with you, tlsgirl...what the HELL is WRONG with those people? That's sick...
kiwitwist kiwitwist 8 years
this is disgusting on so many levels... I am worried about the lack of handwashing though... :sick:
tlsgirl tlsgirl 8 years
This is so disgusting. I mean, honestly, what the hell is wrong with those people? I've worked in a couple restaurants and I NEVER would have done this, no matter how hateful my customers were (and there were some truly awful people).
ilanac13 ilanac13 8 years
well i think that we've all heard of things like this happening, and sometimes i do wonder if it does, but if i'm paranoid about it then i'll never go out to eat. i just kind of trust that people are honest and clean about the food that they bring me, and hope that i'm being nice enough to them to not merit a special 'sauce'
anniekim anniekim 8 years
I've worked in restaurants for 20 years and I've never seen anyone 'taint' the food. I'd be more worried about lack of proper hand washing
bluepuppybites bluepuppybites 8 years
I used to be a server and as much as I wanted to taint someone's food I never did because that's wrong and karma would catch up to me. As for our cooks I never knew of an incident where they tainted the food, they would 'lose' the tickets so the food would take forever or pull some crap like that cause they knew our tip would be affected and not their pay.
shoegirl365 shoegirl365 8 years
Excellent... now I can add avoiding restaurants to my list of paranoia, but on the other hand pretty good way to stop spending to eat out as well; thank you short order cooks!
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