A Michigan woman is out of a job after she tried to give a co-worker an unusual going-away present — a batch of brownies filled with laxatives.
Police said the 47-year-old woman was making the treat for an employee who was leaving MMI Engineering Solutions in Saline when she decided to fill it with the diarrhea-inducing medicine. Another employee got wind of the plan and alerted management, who confiscated the brownies before any were eaten and called police, MLive reported.
Police interviewed the woman, who first denied that she put laxatives in the brownies but later confessed when police said they would test the brownies to see if they had been tampered with, MLive reported.
The report noted that there had been some bad blood between the woman who cooked the brownies and the departing employee, though the nature of the workplace feud was not exactly clear.
In the past, food cooked with laxatives as a form of revenge has brought serious consequences. In 2008, a group of students at a Brooklyn high school baked a cake for their teachers and filled it with laxatives. As the New York Daily News noted, several teachers fell ill after eating the tainted cake and had to be taken to the hospital.
Three students were arrested and charged with assault, and one of the school employees harmed by the laxatives said she felt saddened that the students would do that.
“What they did was wrong and they need to be punished,” a social worker told the New York Daily News. “On the other hand, I was very close to these students and I’m very sad. It’s very hard when you give so much of your heart and soul to your kids and someone hurts you like that.”
Laxative poisoning can be very serious. CBS News noted that the FDA has issued warnings against taking too much laxative medicine, which can cause severe dehydration and even death. The agency noted that there were 54 reports of side effects linked to over-the-counter laxatives including 14 deaths, though most were from accidental overdoses rather than intentional poisoning.
Police said they will not be charging the woman who put laxatives in the brownies for her co-worker’s going-away party, as no one had actually consumed the tainted food. But the company has taken action, firing the woman.