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12/23/2010 - Somerset County issues health alert in response to possible terrorist activity

Somerset County issues health alert in response to possible terrorist activity
Published: Wednesday, December 22, 2010, 10:58 AM     Updated: Wednesday, December 22, 2010, 10:59 AM
By Patricia C. Kelley/The Independent Press

SOMERSET COUNTY – In response to a report on CBS News last night about the possibility of a terror threat aimed at food poisoning, the Somerset County Health Alert Network has issued an alert to all health departments in the county to either call or visit retail food establishments with self-service salad bars and/or buffets to warn them of the possible threat.

According to the report on CBS News, there is a credible threat that terrorists are planning to use ricin and cyanide to poison the food in salad bars and buffets at a number of restaurants and hotels in one simultaneous attack.
The alert, which comes from Richard M. Ritota, Program Manager, Food and Drug Safety Program, is asking that restaurant staff closely monitor salad bars and buffets, in particular, and report any suspicious activity immediately. Employees should be instructed to be vigilant and report to their supervisors any suspicious behavior. 

Included with the alert is a copy of a food-inspection checklist and the “If You See Something Say Something” campaign brochure.

To see the original report go to CBS News at
Contact reporter Patricia Kelley at