White powder shuts down Virginia Beach sales center

In the end, the white powder found in a Virginia Beach, Virginia sales office caused an anthrax scare this week was not a threat at all but something found in nearly all offices.

Despite the ubiquity of the powder, officials still took full precautions in dealing with the then-unknown powder to ensure the safety of the public.

A hazardous materials team was called to the sales office of The Westin Virginia Beach Town Center on Monday after a mysterious white powder was discovered.

Fire officials blocked off the street and limited access to the building in case the powder turned out to be a biothreat.

After a battery of hazardous materials were run on the substance, fire officials revealed what they had found.

"Coffee residue," Virginia Beach Battalion Chief Tim Riley told PilotOnline.com.

Further investigation revealed that someone in the office has spilled several packets of sugar and creamer and not cleaned up the messed. The spill did not happen in the vicinity of the coffee machine and, when one employee found the powder, the alarm was raised.

Limiting access to the building and shutting down the street and running tests are required precautions, authorities said, noting that the substance will still be sent out to be positively identified even though it is believed to be benign.