If you’re about to enjoy a nice meal as you read this you may want to bookmark it for later and just get on with your meal. Admittedly, these kinds of things are rare, but they do happen. It’s the worst kind of publicity for the companies involved, and just like gawking at a bad auto accident, human nature renders many of us unable to turn away from something we may not really want to see.
1. Frozen Custard Gives Man The Finger
In 2005 a North Carolina man enjoying a pint of frozen custard had his experience ruined when he bit into part of a severed finger. Authorities reported that it was the result of an accident that occurred during the preparation of the frozen treat. You would think that someone who lost at least part of a finger in a food-processing machine would be anxious to draw attention to his or her condition in order to take advantage of prompt medical treatment. Whether or not that happened is not clear, but someone certainly dropped the ball when they failed to shut the line down immediately and dispose of that particular batch of product.
2. Extra Creamy Chowder
The finger in the custard was bad enough, but this one may have topped it. A February day in 2004 was probably fairly uneventful for a a California woman until she discovered a condom in her clam chowder while dining at an Irvine, California restaurant. The woman and her companions had requested that their meals be returned to the kitchen to be re-heated and reported that they were treated rudely by the waiter. When her meal was returned she was surprised to find a chewy, rubbery object in her mouth that turned out to be a condom. She reportedly ran to the bathroom and vomited. She later filed a lawsuit against the restaurant claiming that she suffered from anxiety and depression as a result of the episode, and if the allegations are true, we have no problem believing her!
3. Taking Crappy Service to A Whole New Level
OK, so perhaps the condom (probably unused) in the chowder was pretty bad, but this one may have just squeezed into the lead position. In another example that suggests restaurant patrons may be better off keeping complaints to themselves, a couple in Australia accused the staff at a hotel bar of contaminating their chocolate gelato with human excrement in 2008. A government health official confirmed that fecal matter was detected in the gelato, while a laboratory hired by the hotel claimed there was no evidence of contamination. The couple had complained about the noise level in the bar during a televised football match and were given the gelato as a gesture of good will. If a crap-contaminated gelato is a gesture of good will, I’d hate to see what that bunch would do to someone they really didn’t like!
4. Frozen Frog Fail
A woman in Michigan got quite a shock in 2010 when she opened a bag of frozen vegetables and found a frost-bitten frog sitting atop some peas. After her husband responded to her screams, they sealed up the bag and called the Food and Drug Administration to file a report. After hearing nothing from the FDA for a few days the man contacted the supermarket where the vegetables were purchased and discovered that they did not even know about the incident. Apparently, the FDA didn’t take the matter very seriously at the time. Although the couple was satisfied with the response from the supermarket, they say they’ll never look at a bag of frozen vegetables the same way again.
5. New Definition of “Extra Special”
A woman in the U.K preparing a meal for her boyfriend and herself was mystified by the lumpy consistency of the curry sauce she had poured into a pan. Upon closer examination, she discovered that a dead mouse had apparently lived out the final moments of its life drowning in “Asda Extra Special” sauce. When she returned to the store where she purchased the sauce with evidence of the unfortunate rodent, she was assured that they would conduct a full investigation. Perhaps now consumers know what it is about Asda’s sauce that’s so extra special.
6. You Want Pus With That?
A family in Canada claims the meal they purchased from a local McDonald’s during July of 2007 was ruined when the the husband found a used band-aid in his french fries. The man allegedly felt “queasy, light headed, nauseous and grew increasingly mortified at the thought of having consumed the french fries which were tainted by the presence of the used band aid and any blood or other bodily fluids it contained.” After approaching an employee about the incident, the man reported that the employee attempted to take the band-aid from him. Police were called, although no arrests were made. The family filed a lawsuit against McDonald’s Canada and the employee that was said to have been involved in the incident.
7. Bathroom Breaks and Coffee Breaks Don’t Mix
Not in any reasonable person’s mind anyway. In 2005 a deranged Postal Service employee (why does that sound so familiar?) decided – for reasons that were not made completely clear – to add something a little extra to his co-worker’s coffee. His fellow employees suspected something wasn’t quite right with the taste of the brew from the coffee maker and set about to find out why. After they put a hidden surveillance camera in place, they learned that one of the mechanics working at the facility has been pouring urine into the break room coffee pot. The pissed-off pervert was charged with with two counts of adulteration of food or placing harmful objects in food.
8. Supermarket Blunder Down Under
In a disturbingly recent report out of Australia, a man reported finding live maggots in the pre-cooked chicken he had purchased at a local supermarket in December. Unfortunately the poor bloke actually swallowed some of them before he was tipped off by the sensation of something crawling around on his lip. His outrage led him to visit the company’s Facebook page to lodge the following complaint: “I had maggots in my mouth and then I swallowed them which is how I realised what had happened, because one was crawling around my lip!” At last report, the man was still waiting on a response from the company.
9. Roach Coach Chinese?
Another case involving insect larvae surfaced in Denver, Colorado just six days before Christmas. A man dining in a Denver Chinese restaurant found something that didn’t look quite right in his sweet and sour chicken. The man decided to snap a photo of the suspicious-looking tidbits which county health inspectors later identified as roach larvae. The establishment was also found to be in violation of numerous other health-related regulations including a lack of soap and paper towels in the employee bathrooms and raw chicken stored at a temperature of 67 degrees, well above the required temperature of 41 degrees. The restaurant’s owners have since claimed that they have addressed all of the violations, but it’s a good bet that at least one customer won’t be returning to verify that claim.
10. The Foxy Donkey
Speaking of Chinese food, who knew that Wal-Mart’s ever-expanding tentacles reached all the way to China? Shopping in a stateside Wal-Mart is a very different experience when compared to shopping at one of the retail giant’s China locations, where live animals are on display for hungry shoppers to choose from. Apparently, there was quite a to-do over the fact that some stores were selling donkey meat that also included some unadvertised fox meat. The product in question is called “Five Spice Donkey Meat,”which makes us wonder if the producer figured they could cover up the foxy flavor with all those spices. China is well-known for the “diverse” diet that some Chinese people enjoy, one that sometimes includes even dogs and cats. That makes us wonder why a little fox meat mixed in with donkey meat caused such a kerfuffle. If someone is willing to dine on donkey, what’s the harm in feeding on a little fox while you’re at it?
11. The Camouflaged Frog
One New York restaurant picked the wrong day to let quality control slip up a bit. While dining there just a couple of weeks ago, a Wall Street Journal editor snapped a photo of a dead frog that was discovered in a colleague’s albacore tuna nicoise salad. Sporting natural brown and green colors, the amphibian blended in extraordinarily well with its surroundings, making detection somewhat difficult. When the problem was brought to the attention of the establishment’s management, the unlucky diner was offered a refund and a voucher for a free lunch. Now there’s somebody who really understands what their customers want!