Warning: The post is not for the squeamish. It’s not my regular fare, so feel free to skip it if you’d like. I just wanted to try some comedic writing.
Eating is supposed to be a nourishing and satisfying experience. It’s a time to sit down with friends and family to socialize, relax, and savor the experience of life. At the very least, you don’t expect something to go horribly wrong.
Think the term ‘opening a can of worms’ sounds gross? That’s nothing. Check out six of the most gag-worthy things ever found in food. (And, unless you’ve got a really strong stomach, don’t read this while you’re eating.)
1. The Tongue-Eating Parasite in a Can of Tuna
Imagine opening up a can of tuna to find a creature staring at you with beady black eyes? 28-year-old UK resident, Zoe Butler, doesn’t have to imagine, it happened to her. The young mother was preparing a meal for her children when she spotted something unusual amongst the familiar chunks of Princes tuna.
Quote from WTVR.com:
“I opened the top of the lid and saw a purply thing, a gut sack or intestine – then I turned it round and pushed it with a fork and saw it looking back at me,” Butler told The Nottingham Post. “It’s got like a spiny tail along the bottom – it’s quite grim.”
After taking a photo of the creepy-looking creature and posting it online, the image quickly went viral with the hashtag #tunagate, sending a shower of speculation as to what species of intruder had found its way into her can.
London’s Natural History Museum stepped up to solve the mystery, identifying the dead and partially dissected creature as Cymothoa exigua, a tongue-eating parasite.
2. The Lizard Head in the Gourmet Salad
When Robin Sandusky ordered lunch on a Tuesday in the winter of 2014, she requested a kale salad. She got that—and a little extra. She was three-quarters of the way finished with her meal when she noticed a long, thin face staring at her from the corner of the bowl.
Quote from ABCNews.com:
“I turned it over and the gore was hanging out the back of the neck,” she told ABC News today, adding that the lizard had an arm and half-open eyelids. “I said, ‘Oh man. I have a lizard in my salad.'”
I love her reaction. I’d have screamed, dropped the fork, and hid under my desk. Not Robin. She just calmly snapped a photo to preserve the unique moment and went on about her day.
Now had she actually bitten into the thing, the “Lizard-Head Lawsuit” may have made headlines, snuffing out any remaining fame gained by the elderly woman who sued McDonald’s over a hot cup of coffee in 1992.
3. The Severed Finger in the Roast Beef Sandwich
The only thing more horrible than finding something disgusting in your food is actually taking a bite out of it. Michigan teenager, Ryan Hart, will never see the words ‘finger food’ quite the same again after his gag-worthy Arby’s experience.
The junior roast beef sandwich was going down just fine until the 14-year-old bit into something that will likely haunt him for the rest of his life—an employee’s severed finger.
Quote from MLive.com:
“I was about to puke… It was just nasty.”
The strangest part about this case is it’s not an isolated event. It appears digits are being lopped off right and left (er…no pun intended) by factory machines, and the workers presumably just bandage themselves up and keep right on going.
I mean, not only would I want my finger back, I wouldn’t want my lost digit to haunt the dreams of the poor person who ate it for the rest of his or her life. (I mean, come on, that’s just human decency!)
4. The Dead Mouse in the Loaf of Bread
Stephen Forse, of Kidlington, Oxfordshire was making some sandwiches for his children from a loaf of bread he’d purchased online. He knew something was amiss when he noticed a dark-colored object wedged into the loaf.
At first, he assumed it was just a discolored part of the bread where the dough had not baked all the way through, but upon closer inspection, he realized said “discoloration” had fur.
Quote from BBC.com:
“Initially I thought it was where the dough had not mixed properly prior to baking,” he said. “As I looked closer I saw that the object had fur on it.”
Forse contacted Cherwell District Council and environmental health officers who identified the ‘extra ingredient’ as a mouse minus its tail.
I can just imagine the thoughts running through this poor father’s head upon hearing this particular bit of news:
“Oh, OK, so there’s a dead mouse in my bread, but nobody actually ate any of…what!? What do you mean ‘minus its tail’? Where’s its tail? Oh dear God, did my kids eat it? Did I? Come to think of it, where are its ears? I’m going to vomit now.”
The photo of the mouse squished into the bread shows its front paws stretched out as if scrabbling for escape, its feet frozen in mid-scamper. It kind makes you wonder what the unfortunate rodent was thinking moments before it met its doughy demise.
Premier Foods, the maker of the bread, was fined £5,500 and ordered to pay over £11,000 at Oxford Crown Court.
5. The Animal Toe in the Spinach Artichoke Dip
Andrew Brodsky was enjoying some spinach artichoke dip when he felt a hard object scratch his tongue. To his horror, he found he’d nearly swallowed a black, severed animal toe with the nail still attached.
The 35-year-old New York resident was instantly sickened and traumatized by the incident. So much so, he now avoids all pre-packaged foods and cannot even be around others when they eat them.
Quote from BusinessInsurance.com:
“According to the suit, Mr. Brodsky claims to have sustained numerous personal injuries, including emotional distress; was rendered sick, sore, lame and disabled; and suffered mental anguish and anxiety.”
I can’t say I blame him. Almost swallowing a gangrenous animal toe has got to be one of the most gag-worthy eating experiences in the world.
6. The Maggots in the Rice
Maggots: They’re white, slimy fly larvae most commonly associated with dead bodies and weeks-old trash rotting in a Dumpster. Apparently, they’re also quite good at disguising themselves as rice.
Maisy Dean was about to tuck into a bowl of boil-in-the-bag-rice when she made the grim discovery. Her mother, Jenny Hollinshead, told the Manchester Evening News her family had already eaten three bags of rice from the same box.
Quote From The Telegraph:
“Maisy has been checking all her food since it happened. She’s only 12 years old and she could have very easily eaten it,” she explained.
Be honest, are you really going to be able to eat white rice again without doing the same?
I live with gluten intolerance so I always double-check my food. I have to. Maybe that’s why I’ve yet to scarf down a slug or gobble up a garter snake.
Now that you have a little taste (pun intended this time) of what it’s like to be paranoid about your food, will you give your next takeout order a once over before digging in, or will you keep throwing caution to the wind?
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Fake severed finger courtesy of Flickr/Michaela Tacker
Arby’s meal courtesy of Flickr/wEnDy
Spinach dip courtesy of Flickr/Michael W. May
Bowl of rice courtesy of Flickr/Yamanaka Tamaki