The owner of the Hibachi Express franchise checked surveillance video after tasting the sauce during a routine inspection and immediately feeling his mouth burn.
Padilla told police he didn’t know anything about the incident at the beginning, later confessed after learning that his actions had been captured on surveillance video.
Lakeland police say the video showed 54-year-old Margarito Padilla accessing a container of poisonous drain cleaner and then going to where the Yum Yum sauce was kept. The Ledger reported Wednesday that Padilla was arrested last June and eventually acknowledged tainting the sauce because he was unhappy about working conditions.
He pleaded no contest to introducing a chemical into a food or drink, as part of a deal with prosecutors.
Florida Chief Assistant State Attorney Jacob Orr said state sentencing guidelines called for Padilla to receive a minimum prison term of four years and six months. In sentencing Padillo to seven years in prison, Circuit Judge Kevin Abdoney gave him credit for the eight months he’d spent in the Polk County Jail awaiting trial.
The Associated Press