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Southwestern Illinois man accused of inserting sewing needles into supermarket's packaged meat

Federal prosecutors are accusing an Illinois man of inserting sewing needles into packaged ground beef for more than a year at a supermarket in his hometown.

Sixty-eight-year-old Ronald Avers of Belleville was charged Wednesday with seven felony counts of tampering with consumer products.

The FBI alleges in court filings that a Shop 'n Save grocery store reported on July 9 at least seven cases since May of last year in which sewing needles were found in packaged meat products.

The criminal complaint alleges one customer found a needle in her mouth while eating and another reported being stuck in the hand. Other customers said they found needles in the meat they bought but were not injured.

A message left with Avers' federal public defender wasn't returned.

Avers remained jailed Thursday.

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