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Elmira woman wary of products after finding staple in her bagel

Cheryl Noordam is avoiding Canada Bread products after finding an open staple in a Dempsters bagel. [Whitney Neilson / The Observer]
Cheryl Noordam is avoiding Canada Bread products after finding an open staple in a Dempsters bagel. [Whitney Neilson / The Observer]
Cheryl Noordam is avoiding Canada Bread products after finding an open staple in a Dempsters bagel. [Whitney Neilson / The Observer]
A dead mouse in a cup of coffee in New Brunswick, needles in PEI potatoes, and now a staple in an Elmira bagel.

Cheryl Noordam discovered an open staple – something not even used to secure bagel bags – in one of her Dempsters everything bagels bought from the Food Basics in Elmira.

She informed Food Basics, who she said told the Dempsters delivery driver. She also called Dempsters to let them know what she found.

“I called Dempsters immediately and the first person I talked to, she was very nice, very apologetic,” Noordam said. “At the end of the call she said that they were opening an investigation. They were able to determine the factory from the UPC code on the bagels. They’re opening an investigation into how that happened.”

They send her a prepaid UPS envelope to send them the staple in, which they would have received last week. This was the third bagel she had eaten since opening the bag, with no issues with the first two.

“At first I thought it was a seed so I crunched down on it again to try to break it up,” Noordam said. “I crunched down again and I was like this isn’t a seed. So I spat it out and sure enough it was a staple, an open staple. I was just about to swallow.”

She hasn’t touched the remaining bagels.

“You always hear stories online and you’re like ‘oh that’s never going to happen here.’ But the fact that it happened here, the bagels were bought here, my concern is how did one staple get in a bagel and what if there’s more?”

This certainly isn’t the first time people have found foreign objects in their food. Most recently, needles were found in PEI potatoes. The culprits haven’t been found yet, despite a $500,000 reward. While this bagel incident is likely an accident, and not an intentional act to harm someone, it’s still concerning to find a sharp object in food.

Noordam is now avoiding Dempsters products, instead buying her bread at the market.

“For now, yes, absolutely. There’s a lot of Dempsters related companies, so I’m very choosy as to what I’m buying right now,” Noordam said.

The companies that fall under the Canada Bread umbrella are Dempsters, Villagio, POM, Bon Matin, Ben’s, McGavin’s, and Sun Maid.

Since calling Dempsters, Noordam received a letter from them with five free bread coupons.

That was the last she heard from them and she’d like to know what they found in their investigation. She says she doesn’t feel like they’re taking it as serious as they should be.

Jon-Ross Gabriel, communications for Canada Bread, said they completed their investigation three days after they were informed about the staple. The staple she sent back to them was put through a metal detector.

“Our Rivermede facility, they received a sample of the staple that was found in the product,” Gabriel said. “They tested it several times through a detector and it was caught immediately. What they also did was compare the staple against any staples they’d typically have on hand and it didn’t really match anything we have or we use in our facilities.”

He said jewelry and other loose items would be prohibited on the floor. Their final determination was that the staple didn’t come from their bakery.

“It was an isolated incident that could have happened at some point through transportation at the grocery story specifically and really because they didn’t have any access to the packaging they couldn’t tell if the product had been tampered with,” Gabriel said.

When asked if they would be informing Noordam about the results of their investigation, he said he’d have to check into it, but that’s typically the process.

“I don’t want it to just be forgotten because what if there’s more?” Noordam said. “That’s what I’m concerned about. What if someone else swallowed that staple? You don’t usually just have one staple kicking around.”

For now, she’s glad the morning she ate that bagel was the odd day her daughter wasn’t eating breakfast with her and wasn’t harmed.

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