The Gross Things Found in Food Scam
Upton Sinclair's 1906 novel The Jungle exposed the dark secrets of the meat-packing industry. Readers were shocked to learn that the sausages they bought at stores often contained undesirable ingredients such as 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 unpleasant 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 gross lurking in food served at a restaurant (or in commercially prepared food in general), and then to demand monetary damages from the company that prepared the meal. This scam is given plausibility by the fact that restaurant patrons and supermarket shoppers occasionally legitimately do find unsavory items in their food. The gross things most often found by hoaxers are rodents, human body parts, and condoms.
All text Copyright © 2014 by Alex Boese, except where otherwise indicated. All rights reserved.