Statements by District Attorney Tony Rackauckas – Baby Food Contamination

Baby Food Contamination

Statements by District Attorney Tony Rackauckas

July 27, 2004


Thank you Chief Maggard. 


This is an active investigation so there will many facts that we cannot share with you all at this time.  I hope you understand.  We are having to do a careful balancing act – between informing the public of possible health dangers and making sure we bring the person or persons responsible for this reprehensible act to justice. 


Chief Maggard gave you the basic facts that we can release at this time. 


First, I want to say that the folks at Gerber Products have been helping us on this case.  Gerber Products is not a target.  This is an isolated incident involving one product, one store, in one city. 


This is an important topic for me because I have five kids, including a three year old.  It is hard for me to imagine why anyone would harm babies and create fear in parents’ minds.


First, I want to say that we have identified a laborer named Charles Dewey Cage, age 47, of Irvine, as a “person of interest.”  Mr. Cage is believed to have relevant information connected to this case.  Law enforcement is requesting the public’s help in finding Mr. Cage.  And Mr. Cage, if you are listening, please contact my office.


Second, I want to talk to parents regarding how to be vigilant about food products.  First, look for jars that contain this plastic shrink wrap that seals the jar.  Then listen for the “pop” sound.  Unfortunately, we have information that this sound alone does not mean that the jar was not tampered with.  It is possible to reseal this jar and have the safety pop up button go back down.  Then, pour out the contents into a bowl or a plate and examine the product before feeding your child or eating it. 


Anyone with information related to this criminal investigation or knows the whereabouts of Mr. Cage should call Irvine Police Detective Ron Carr at (949) 724-7180 or District Attorney Supervising Investigator Alan Vanderpool at (714) 347-8736.