LocationAlhambra , CA
San Marino Police Department found a metal cutting blade in a to-go order from Baja Cali Fish & Tacos on Main Street and notified Alhambra Police Department just before 1 p.m. on Thursday, according to an Alhambra Police Department press release.
Alhambra P.D. has ruled this as an accidental and isolated incident and closed the “food tampering” investigation.
The press release by APD Lieutenant Eddie Elizalde said San Marino P.D. placed a to-go order, by phone, and uniformed personnel picked up the food to bring it back to the station. One of the officers found a metal cutting blade, about 1.5 inches in length, in her food while she was eating.
Alhambra Police Department handled the investigation because Baja Cali Fish & Tacos is in the City of Alhambra, where any possible tampering would have occurred.
Alhambra P.D. says they interviewed the employees and inspected the restaurant, and “Baja Cali’s management and employees cooperated fully during the investigation.”
At the restaurant is where APD matched the blade found in the food to an industrial food preparation chopper, which was missing one blade.
The food chopper is used to cut various foods with a “slamming motion,” so APD believes one of the blades broke off and accidentally fell into the pico de gallo, which then made its way onto the police officer’s order.
“Detectives determined this was an accidental and isolated incident,” the press release says, and that the San Marino police officer did not sustain any injuries from the blade.
The press release by APD was posted on their Facebook and Instagram pages on Friday. Many comments wished the San Marino officers well and lamented that this incident could happen to anyone.
Some questioned whether it was too much of a coincidence that a blade could end up in a police officer’s food at a time of mass protests against police brutality and other systemic injustices that Black people face today.
One Facebook commenter said she hopes the incident doesn’t negatively affect Baja Cali’s business because “they are very nice people.”
APD responded that they too hope it doesn’t negatively affect business, because it could “really happen at any business that use machine/blades/food.”
On Instagram, a commenter supported the “accidental and isolated” ruling, bringing up the volume of orders Baja Cali usually has to prepare, and “the cooks don’t know whose order is whose.” APD agreed.
Baja Cali has not addressed the incident on neither Facebook nor Instagram.
The bottom line came in the form of an APD response to a negative commenter:
“We support the business and we had to complete an investigation.”
Read the Alhambra P.D. press release below.