Former Lakeland cook gets 7 years for putting plumber’s lye in Yum Yum Sauce

This undated photo made available by the Polk County Sheriff's Office, Fla., shows Margarito Padilla under arrest. Padilla was sentenced to seven years in prison for putting a deadly plumber's lye into a bottle of Yum Yum sauce at a Hibachi Express restaurant he worked at. (Polk County Sheriff's Office via AP)

LAKELAND, Fla. (AP) – A disgruntled Lakeland restaurant worker has been sentenced to seven years in prison for putting deadly plumber’s lye into the Yum Yum sauce.

The owner of a Hibachi Express franchise checked surveillance video after feeling his mouth burn when he tasted the sauce during a routine inspection.

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.

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