The South African Police Service (SAPS) says it is investigating the origin of a new hoax email that warns of HIV contaminated tomato sauce.
Police spokeswoman Director Sally de Beer says e-mail users are widely circulating a message in which it is claimed that a well-known food chain sent letters out to schools warning about tomato sauce which could have been deliberately contaminated with the blood of an HIV+ person.
“This e-mail has been brought to the attention of the SAPS and a thorough enquiry has revealed it to be a hoax which, unfortunately, is becoming an urban legend. Similar hoaxes have been discovered on web sites in other countries,” De Beer says.
“The e-mail in question urges people not to use tomato sauce – or any other sauce – which is not sealed in a sachet because a man was trapped while putting blood into the tomato sauce at a restaurant. No such incident is known to the SAPS.”
De Beer says the police “yet again urges people to ignore this and similar e-mails and SMS`s which are probably created by a person or persons intent on causing alarm or panic.”