A shopper fears blood was injected into ready meals on the shelves at three UK supermarkets.
A man was arrested on Wednesday on suspicion of contaminating goods with the intention of causing public harm or anxiety.
He was allegedly seen plunging a syringe filled with a mystery substance into food packaging at branches of Tesco, Sainsbury's and Waitrose.
All three of the shops on Fulham Palace Road in west London have been closed for investigation since police took the suspect into custody.
Residents in the area have shared their concern over the food's safety, which one speculates could have been injected with blood.
Police were called to Fulham Palace Road at around 7.40pm on Wednesday night initially to reports of a man shouting abuse at people in the street.
Forensic officers were seen packing processed meat packs into health hazard bags to be sent for chemical testing this morning, the Mirror reports.
People who bought any food at the three shops have been advised to throw it away as a precaution.
Police are also investigating whether any other shops were targeted.
A shopper said they had been told the suspect may have been injecting his own blood into products, Mail Online reports.
The NHS worker, who did not want to be identified, said: "I live close by and went outside last night to find out what was going on.
"There were police outside Waitrose and I asked an officer what it was that the man had been injecting and he mentioned that it could be blood.
"He said that whatever the substance is, it's gone off to be tested. The police are also checking the CCTV."
Nick Pattison, 50, who works in the tourism industry, said: "I am absolutely shocked and appalled at the idea of someone contaminating food.
"I think there was a case in New York when someone injected a mixture of faeces and urine into the breakfast buffet and salads.
"I also remember in the 1970s when people were protesting Israel by injecting mercury into Jaffa oranges.
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A Scotland Yard spokesman said "Police have arrested a man on suspicion of contamination of goods with intention of causing public harm or anxiety after foodstuffs at supermarkets were injected with needles.
"Officers were called at around 7.40pm on Wednesday after a man was reported to be shouting abuse at people in the street.
"The man is reported to have gone into three supermarkets in Fulham Palace Road and injected foodstuffs with a number of needles. He has been taken into police custody.
"They are Little Waitrose, 201-207 Fulham Palace Road; Sainsbury's Local, 179-183 Fulham Palace Road, and Tesco Express, 168-188 Fulham Place Road.
"The supermarkets have closed and crime scenes are in place.
"The food items affected are believed to be processed meat and microwaveable products. It is currently unknown as to how many items have been contaminated, or what with.
"Investigations are on-going to establish if other businesses in the area are involved in the incident."
Outside Sainsbury's, a sign reads: "Due to unforeseen circumstances, this store will be closed until further notice. We apologise for the inconvenience this may cause."
A Hammersmith and Fulham council spokesperson said: "It is a Met Police investigation and our Environmental Health team is supporting the three branches."
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