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View Gross Things Found in Food

Type: Popular scam (though often the complaints turn out to be legitimate).
Summary: Someone claims to find an inappropriate object in their food. Sometimes such claims are legitimate. Often, however, they are attempts either to extort money from the food vendor or to attract media attention.

In 1906 The Jungle, by Upton Sinclair, exposed the dark secrets of the meat-packing industry. Readers were shocked to learn of the secret ingredients in their sausages: rats, human fingers, and garbage shoveled off the floor. The public outcry the book provoked indirectly led to the creation of the Food and Drug Administration, which regulates the food industry. However, the public is still sensitive about the idea of undesirable foreign objects ending up in commercially prepared food.

Such public sensitivity has created an opportunity for scam artists. The scam is to pretend to find something lurking in what you are served at a restaurant, and then to demand large monetary damages from the company that prepared the meal. This scam is given plausibility by the fact that restaurant patrons often really do find unpleasant items in their meals.

Wendy’s Chili Finger (2005) — scam

chilifinger.jpg On March 22, 2005 Anna Ayala sat down to eat a bowl of chili at a Wendy