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Restaurant cook puts drain cleaner in sauce because he was unhappy with work conditions

By Tanya Clark 6:01 AM February 9, 2018
Margarito Padillo

A man was jailed after he was caught on surveillance video contaminating food with drain cleaner because he was unhappy with his work conditions.

According to police, Zhong Kun Jiang, the owner of Hibachi Express in Florida, did a taste-test on the popular Yum Yum sauce at his restaurant after suspecting that something was not right.

Jiang said that his tongue began to burn “like something was cutting his tongue and mouth” after consuming the sauce.

He checked surveillance video and saw his cook placing toxic drain cleaner crystals into his pocket before returning to the 55-gallon container of Yum Yum sauce.

Juang handed the video over to the police and the cook was arrested.

In a plea agreement with prosecutors, 55-year-old Margarito Padillo pleaded no contest to introducing a chemical into a food or drink.

The crime is a first-degree felony and is punishable by up to 30 years in prison.

According to Chief Assistant State Attorney Jacob Orr, state sentencing guidelines for the crime calls for a minimum of 4 years and six months prison term.

Circuit Judge Kevin Abdoney sentenced Padillo to 7 years in prison. He received credit for the eight months he already spent in the Polk County Jail while awaiting trial.