Waiter, What’s This Fly Doing in My Soup?

So, the woman who claimed to find a human finger in her chili at Wendy’s back in 2005 was just scamming the fast food chain, but lots of people really do find disgusting things in their food.

For a comprehensive list of totally gross finds (both real and fake), check out the Hoaxipedia; we’re not gonna spoil your supper by listing them all here. But we can’t resist the list of “nasties” found in food that South Africa’s Independent Online has compiled from reader mail. “These range from worms in chocolate and a mixer bolt in a hot cross bun, to a mouse in a bag of Christmas nuts, pieces of fungus floating in a fizzy drink, a piece of hard plastic embedded in a soft sweet and a shriveled, whole gecko in a bag of muesli,” the article reads.

The guy who found the gecko demanded 35,000 South African rand (approximately $5,000) in damages from the muesli company, basically for being subjected to the sight of a dead gecko. But the columnist argues that paying off a customer who found something disgusting in his food isn’t the best way for a company to take responsibility for its mistake:

When it comes to customer complaints about contaminated food, companies should respond immediately with an apology and then arrange for the product to be collected within a day—or two days at most (always take photos before handing over the ‘evidence’).

The company should fully investigate the complaint and get back to the customer with a formal, written report, detailing their findings.

But is a replacement product and a detailed report enough to heal one’s wounded psyche? Can one put a price on his or her scars when a box of muesli always conjures images of dead reptiles?