Warehouse Worker Responsible for Sending Contaminated Cornflakes to Supermarkets

Telma cornflakes on a supermarket shelf. (Hadas Parush/Flash90)
Telma cornflakes on a supermarket shelf. (Hadas Parush/Flash90)

Investigators in the Unilever cereal scare have traced the distribution to supermarkets of salmonella-contaminated boxes to a warehouse employee, Globes reported on Wednesday.

A probe by Wizman Yaar Investigations commissioned by Unilever discovered that a warehouse employee of Logisticare, not Unilever, had marked the pallet for supermarkets.

“The warehouse is operated and managed by Logisticare employees; Unilever employees do not work there,” the report stated.

Investigators confirmed that the contaminated cornflakes had initially been designated for destruction and should never have left the building.

Wizman Yaar noted that “it was marked with an ‘S’, meaning that it was removed from the inventory and marked for throwing out.”

However, the report said, “Activity conducted in the warehouse gave the pallet marked for throwing out a ‘new identity’ through which it was distributed, although it should have remained blocked in the warehouse.”

The firm accuses a specific employee, whom it identified through the portable terminal he used. The report states, “The employee confirmed that if the records said that he worked with the portable terminal, then this was indeed the case, and that he had accessed the portable terminal through a personal code known only to him, which he had given to no one else.”

Wizman Yaar concluded that the employee had prepared the pallet suspected of contamination for delivery to Shufersal, “under the assumption that the block would be removed within a few days, as was usual in the warehouse.”