7 Disgusting Things Found in Food Products

A condom was the secret ingredient in a bowl of clam chowder in Irvine, California.
A condom was the secret ingredient in a bowl of clam chowder in Irvine, California.

You've probably heard about the woman who claimed she found a human finger in a bowl of Wendy's chili. It turned out to be a hoax, but many such claims turn out to be true. The following is a sampling of some of the most disgusting items found in food products. Bon appetit!

1. In 2002, a woman was enjoying a bowl of clam chowder at McCormick & Schmick's Seafood in Irvine, California, when she bit down on something rubbery. Assuming it was calamari, she spit it into her napkin, only to find that it was actually a condom. The woman won an undisclosed amount in a lawsuit, but the restaurant unsuccessfully sued a supplier.

2. In Baltimore, Maryland, in 2003, a man was eating a three-piece combo meal at Popeyes® Chicken & Biscuits when he bit down and found a little surprise wedged between the skin and the meat of his chicken -- a deep-fried mouse! Sadly, the restaurant had other rodent infestation citations on its record.

3. During the summer of 2004, David Scheiding was enjoying an Arby's chicken sandwich, but it came with an unexpected topping -- sliced human flesh. Turns out that the store manager sliced his thumb while shredding lettuce. Of course, he thoroughly sanitized the area, but the lettuce was still used! Scheiding refused to accept a settlement from Arby's and filed a lawsuit in 2005.

4. It's not a body part or a rodent, but E. coli -- the bacteria that thrive in the lower intestines of mammals and are excreted through feces -- definitely qualifies as disgusting. In 1993, more than 600 hungry Jack in the Box customers, mostly children, became very ill from ingesting the little buggers. Sadly, four customers died. Several multimillion-dollar lawsuits later, it was determined that the problem was with the meat supplier.

5. Imagine the surprise of five-year-old Jordan Willett of the UK when he poured a bowl of Golden Puffs breakfast cereal one morning in 2005 and out popped a snake! The two-foot long, nonvenomous corn snake was not inside the sealed cereal bag, so investigators are unsure how it got inside the cereal box.

6. In 2000, a two-year-old boy in the UK got the surprise of his life -- and a stomachache -- after munching on Burger King french fries that included a special treat -- a fried lizard! The boy's family dutifully handed over the crispy lizard to the restaurant for further examination, and no lawsuit was filed.

7. In 2005, Clarence Stowers of North Carolina was savoring a pint of Kohl's frozen custard. Thinking that a chunk at the bottom of the dessert was candy, he decided to save it for last. How disappointed he must have been to discover that it wasn't candy but was actually part of Kohl's Frozen Custard employee Brandon Fizer's index finger. What's more, Stowers wouldn't return the finger at first! He kept it as evidence for his lawsuit, and by the time he decided to give it back, it was too late to reattach it.


Helen Davies, Marjorie Dorfman, Mary Fons, Deborah Hawkins, Martin Hintz, Linnea Lundgren, David Priess, Julia Clark Robinson, Paul Seaburn, Heidi Stevens, and Steve Theunissen

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