Consumers who suspect they have bought food that has been tampered with should tell store officials, alert local police and call a Food and Drug Administration hotline to report it, the federal agency said.

Store officials should follow the same protocol, a spokeswoman for the FDA said Tuesday, but there are no federal laws that mandate who should be alerted.

Sanford police said Tuesday that they were not told until Sunday that customers who bought pizza dough from the Sanford Hannaford in August told store management that it contained razor blades or blade fragments. A similar incident with pizza dough bought in the Saco Hannaford store last week was reported and police have arrested a man in New Hampshire who will be extradited to Maine to face a charge of criminal threatening with a dangerous weapon.

FDA spokeswoman Courtney Rhodes said food that may have been tampered with should be reported first to the store manager, especially if a consumer spots it in the store, and then to local police. If the product is meat or poultry, the FDA maintains a hotline at 1-800-535-4555. For products that don’t contain meat or poultry, call 1-866-300-4374 or 301-796-8240. There’s also a non-emergency number for food safety questions at 1-888-SAFEFOOD.

The FDA also recommends that consumers check a product’s packaging to look for signs of tampering and also examine any anti-tampering devices, such as a plastic seal around the outside of a container or a safety button on the lid of a jar, to see if the product appears to have been tampered with.

Officials said don’t buy products with open, torn or damaged packaging or products that are damaged or look unusual. For instance, avoid canned goods that are leaking or have bulges at the end or products that look as if they have been thawed and then refrozen. Also, check the “sell by” date to make sure the products aren’t old.


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