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'Disturbed, angered:' Hereford House says of food contamination by former employee

Hereford House Leawood
Posted at 4:28 PM, May 09, 2024

KANSAS CITY, Mo. — Hereford House says it's "disturbed and angered" after a former employee admitted to contaminating food at the restaurant's Leawood location using his genitals and other body parts.

Jace Christian Hanson, 21, is charged with adulterating or contaminating food, raw agricultural commodity or beverage in connection to the incident.

An affidavit filed in support of the charge against Hanson revealed disturbing details into his behavior.

On April 24, a special agent from the Federal Bureau of Investigation contacted the Leawood Police Department after the agent was tipped off about contamination happening at Hereford House.

The agent said he received reports that an employee had been contaminating food by urinating on it and rubbing their genitals on it, as well as posting it online.

During the investigation, authorities obtained images and reviewed videos of the crimes.

The investigation led to Hanson being identified as the suspect.

When confronted by authorities, Hanson admitted to the behavior, and said he contaminated food over 20 times.

This includes urinating on food, rubbing his genitals on it, rubbing his feet on food, among other contamination.

Hereford House released a lengthy statement addressing the incident.

"Everyone connected with the Hereford House restaurant in Leawood is disturbed, even angered, by the food tampering that occurred at that location in April," Hereford House said in part in the statement. "Until the release of the affidavit on Wednesday concerning defendant’s actions and statements, we were unable to publicly address the situation as we were learning the details released by law enforcement authorities at the same time as the news media and the public."

Upon learning about the contamination, Hereford House says it destroyed all food in the kitchen area and thoroughly cleaned and sanitized the restaurant.

Hereford House says it also contacted the Kansas State health authorities about the incident.

The restaurant explained the situation, told health officials what actions it had taken, and asked if any other actions were needed.

Health authorities said Hereford House took all appropriate actions given the circumstances.

Hereford House went on to weigh in on the time frame of Hanson's actions.

The restaurant narrowed down time frame from roughly April 6 to April 23.

Hereford House says Hanson worked at the restaurant 12 times.

"Finally, we want to thank our loyal customer base. Please know that we are just as upset and disturbed by this situation as you are. And we will continue to work hard to earn your trust and business.