Aussie Olympians in muffin poison scare

Last updated 11:46 15/04/2008

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A major investigation is underway after paperclips were found in 15 chocolate muffins served at a Brisbane function featuring members of Australia's Olympic team.

Three workers from the Newmarket factory of muffin supplier Merlo Kitchen Catering Company have been stood down with pay following the incident, which occurred at a morning tea last week at the Queensland University of Technology.

Brisbanetimes.com.au understands two people at the function bit into muffins containing paperclips. When the paperclips were discovered, the rest of the stock was checked and paperclips found in a further 13 muffins.

No-one sustained injuries.

Merlo Kitchen Catering Company director Dean Merlo said his company, as much as anyone at the function, was the victim in the scare.

"I'm absolutely devastated that this has happened. But we're doing everything we can to work with the authorities," Mr Merlo said.

Queensland Health and Queensland Police are investigating the incident. It is not sure if paperclips were baked into the muffins, or whether they were inserted at a later date.

Olympians at the function included gymnast Ayiesha Johnston and swimmer Christian Sprenger.

The scare came just two days after metal was found in supermarket sausages in South Australia - the fifth time in days that metal had been found in meat and frozen products.

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