Mealbreaker (n.): a nasty, non-edible surprise found in food while it is being eaten; often lawsuit-provoking, sometimes fabricated, always disgusting.
If you think Mealbreakers are bad in America, just wait til you hear the disgusting story of the Shiju family's trip to the KFC in Thiruvananthapuram, a city of 750,000 near the southern tip of India.
According to the Deccan Chronicle, the Shijus went to KFC, ordered a dinner of fried chicken and sat down to eat on Monday evening. They then began to feed some of one of the chicken sandwiches to their 18-month-old child when the child's mother noticed something moving in the food.
It was a worm. They inspected the sandwich further. They found still more worms. They complained to the manager of the KFC, and warned him that they were willing to call food safety authorities. The manager offered to give them fresh chicken and begged them not to call the authorities.
But the Shijus were adamant. The KFC manager got angry at them, and ordered them to leave the store. Once outside, they called the authorities, who came to the KFC and, finding its sanitation inadequate, shut down the location. They seized some chicken that was allegedly as much as five months old. They are also investgating nearby branches, out of fear that the worms got into the food at a central plant in the region.
KFC has had a rough few weeks in South Asia. The Yum Brands-owned chain temporarily closed all its Pakistan stores in late September after anti-American protests rocked several outposts. Between that and the worms, KFC franchise owners must be looking with serious envy at their wildly successful comrades across the Chinese boarder right about now.
Curious to see how this Mealbreaker compares with those in America? Click through the slideshow below.
In April 2013, a supermarket shopper discovered a <a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2013/04/18/tongue-eating-louse-supermarket-fish_n_3111599.html?utm_hp_ref=mealbreakers" target="_hplink">tongue-eating louse</a> inside a whole fish.
In April 2013, a Redditor discovered a <a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2013/04/15/snake-bread_n_3084798.html?utm_hp_ref=mealbreakers" target="_hplink">snake baked in bread</a>.
In March 2103, a Redditor discovered <a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2013/03/14/mold-minute-maid-orange_n_2879519.html?utm_hp_ref=mealbreakers" target="_hplink">gross mold</a> in a Minute Maid can.
In January 2013, a student discovered a f<a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2013/01/07/ibrahim-langoo-brain-kidney-kfc_n_2425917.html?utm_hp_ref=mealbreakers" target="_hplink">ried kidney that looked like a brain</a> in KFC chicken.
A Connecticut woman, Nora Weiss, received a shock in December when she found a <a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/12/05/nora-weiss-black-widow-spider-grapes_n_2245459.html" target="_hplink">live black widow spider tucked amongst the organic grapes she'd recently purchased from Whole Foods</a>. A representative for the grocery chain stressed that the "safety of our shoppers is incredibly important." Weiss received a full refund.
In November, Frances Rosario found a <a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/11/30/frances-rosario-atlanta-mom-nose-ring-mcdonalds-burrito-video_n_2218190.html?utm_hp_ref=mealbreakers" target="_hplink">nose ring in her daughter's breakfast burrito at an Atlanta area McDonald's</a>. Rosario said she was rudely rebuffed by the McDonald's staff and received no response from McDonald's corporate office.
In November, nearly <a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/11/01/enchilada-recall_n_2056970.html" target="_hplink">11,400 pounds of frozen chicken enchiladas were recalled</a> by Food Source, L.P. because they might have contained plastic fragments. The products, 57-oz. boxes of "Bremer Party Size White Meat Chicken Enchiladas," were shipped to stores in New York, Ohio, Pennsylvania and West Virginia.
Before Dwanita Pitman of Minneola, Fla. could open her bag of Marketside greens that she purchased at a Walmart on Thursday, Oct. 18, she noticed a <a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/10/24/frog-in-salad-bag-walmart_n_2010923.html?utm_hp_ref=mealbreakers" target="_hplink">live frog camped out inside</a>.
Londoner Sarah Moss was disturbed to find a <a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/09/20/dead-frog-spinach-salad_n_1896701.html?utm_hp_ref=mealbreakers" target="_hplink">dead frog in her bag of spinach greens</a> that she'd purchased from grocery chain Tesco. Tesco at first refused to compensate Moss, but ended up forking over a £10 gift voucher.
Redditor DonutPlains got a shock when he unwrapped a <a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/10/03/clif-bar-moth-larvae_n_1935436.html?utm_hp_ref=mealbreakers" target="_hplink">Clif Bar to find it covered with moth larvae</a>. A company representative refuted the notion that the bugs got into the packaging at the factory, suggesting instead that they entered in transit or in the poster's pantry. Still, the Clif Bars rep offered to send along some replacement bars.
A Michigan teenager found a <a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/05/17/finger-arbys-sandwich_n_1524129.html?utm_hp_ref=mealbreakers" target="_hplink">human finger in his Arby's sandwich</a> in May of this year. It belonged to a worker who sliced the appendage at the restaurant's meat slicer.
An image posted to Reddit in September showed what could be the worst KFC ever: an <a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/09/17/kfc-raw-chicken-sandwich-photo_n_1890067.html?utm_hp_ref=mealbreakers" target="_hplink">raw chicken sandwich</a>. Worse yet, a bite was missing. The incident allegedly took place in Ontario, Canada.
Caveat: this one was definitely fake. A man was caught trying to extort money from Campbell's by <a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/10/23/daniel-ferris-campells-syringe_n_2005140.html?utm_hp_ref=mealbreakers" target="_hplink">planting a syringe in his can of soup</a> in Australia in October 2012.
A family found <a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/10/08/worms-in-kfc-fried-chicked_n_1949704.html?1351102868" target="_hplink">live worms in a KFC fried chicken sandwich</a> at an outpost outside Kerala, in southern India, in early October 2012 -- prompting a huge investigations of the KFCs throughout the region.
An Oklahoma woman cut her tongue on <a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/10/01/mcdonalds-cookie_n_1928954.html" target="_hplink">sharp shards of plastic she found in a McDonald's cookie</a> in September 2012.
In September, workers at a Conroe, Texas KFC location <a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/09/12/kfc-spoiled-chicken-conroe-texas_n_1876870.html" target="_hplink">allegedly served spoiled chicken that was 16 days old</a> -- six days later than the KFC policy allows.
California mother Amy Hu was horrified to find an <a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/07/31/razor-blade-jolly-ranchers_n_1723814.html" target="_hplink">old, rusty razor blade in a bag of Jolly Ranchers</a>.
In July, 10-year-old William Evans from Hawkchurch, England, found what he claims was a lizard baked into a loaf of bread.
In June of 2012, Florida resident Victoria Harrah claims she got quite a shock recently when a piece of beef ravioli from a can of Chef Boyardee contained an unwelcome additive: <a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/06/14/spider-in-chef-boyardee-ravioli-can_n_1597369.html" target="_hplink">a large spider</a>.
In June of 2012, a New York man found this <a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/06/11/used-band-aid-chinese-food_n_1586719.html" target="_hplink">used Band-Aid</a> in his delivery order from a local Chinese restaurant.
In May 2012, Reddit user LinkBoyJT posted an image Wednesday that might make your skin crawl. After ordering a McDonald's hash brown and eating most of it, he says he was startled to find what he claims was a <a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/05/16/roach-mcdonalds-hash-browns_n_1520862.html" target="_hplink">deep-fried insect stuck to the bottom half</a>.
In April 2012, a worker discovered a <a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/05/01/chewed-up-pen-ground-beef_n_1467777.html" target="_hplink">pen in a meat grinder</a> after some of the meat was likely already for sale.
In April 2012, an Illinois woman ordered eggs from McDonald's and apparently discovered a <a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/04/18/razor-blade-mcdonalds-breakfast_n_1435658.html?1335887776" target="_hplink">razor blade beneath them</a>. The managers explained to police that razors are used to "clean tight corners"... whatever that means.
In March 2012, a woman claimed she found a <a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/03/29/maggot-in-wendys-fries_n_1388291.html" target="_hplink">live maggot</a> in her fries. According to Wendy's, the local health department determined that a Noctuid Moth larva, found only in outdoor habitats, was provided to them by the woman as the "maggot." The health department found no evidence of any health violations in follow-up inspections of the Wendy's facility after the woman's claim. <em>Photo from <a href="http://www.flickr.com/photos/theimpulsivebuy/" target="_hplink">Flickr: theimpulsivebuy</a></em>
In March 2012, a woman claims she found a <a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/03/20/mcnugget-has-feather_n_1367461.html?ref=food&ir=Food" target="_hplink">McFeather in her McNugget.</a>
Andrew Brodsky, 35, found an unidentified animal toe</a> in his container of Sabra Spinach & Artichoke dip.
In January 2012, fifty-year-old bus driver Lajzer Grynsztajn claims he <a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/01/30/man-swallows-2-inch-coil_n_1242472.html?1330621038" target="_hplink">nearly choked to death</a> on such a coil after ordering two chicken breasts and fries from JFK Fried Chicken in Sunset Park, Brooklyn. <em>Photo by <a href="http://www.flickr.com/photos/andrea_nguyen/6242324853/sizes/z/in/photostream/" target="_hplink">Flickr user: Andrea_Nguyen</a></em>
In January 2011, a <a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/01/17/mouse-in-big-mac_n_1210372.html?" target="_hplink">mouse got trapped in a bag of Big Mac buns</a> at a Philadelphia McDonald's.
A deputy sheriff alleges that someone spit in his Whopper...and the case has made it to the <a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/01/11/whopper-spit-case-edward-bylsma_n_1200044.html" target="_hplink">Supreme Court</a> as of January 2012.
A grocery store worker <a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2011/10/06/semen-tainted-yogurt-anthony-garcia_n_998868.html" target="_hplink">pleaded guilty to handing out a semen-tainted yogurt sample</a> at an Albuquerque market.
Louisiana woman Mary Deal Chambers-Johnson sued Applebee's for damages after she claimed a <a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2011/09/08/fingertip-applebees-salad_n_954530.html" target="_hplink">fingertip in her lunch salad</a> gave her post-traumatic stress disorder.
A Chinese woman found a fly in her yogurt in July 2011. When she asked for compensation, the manufacturer asked her <a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2011/08/11/mealbreakers-yogurt-fly-autopsy_n_924617.html" target="_hplink">to prove that the fly had died before she opened the container -- by getting the insect autopsied</a>. (Flies can not be autopsied.)
An upstate New York man found <a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2011/08/01/mealbreakers-bandaid-pizza-hut_n_915489.html#s319946&title=Disemboweled_Mouse_In" target="_hplink">a bloody bandaid in baked into the crust of his Pizza Hut pizza</a> in June of 2011. He sued after the company failed to address his concerns.
A couple found <a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2011/06/30/mealbreakers-mouse-salad-blt-blood_n_887882.html" target="_hplink">a disembowled mouse in their Dole packaged salad mix</a> in June 2011. They'd already started eating the salad by the time they found the mealbreaker; they promptly vomited.
Cancer survivor Susan Mosher was outraged after she found <a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2011/06/30/mealbreakers-bloodied-blt_n_888559.html" target="_hplink">human blood on her BLT and fries</a> at a Cracker Barrel in Kingwood, TX, in late June of 2011.
A dieting woman found a <a href="http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2008450/Dieter-finds-live-caterpillar-Weight-Watchers-snack.html?ITO=1490" target="_hplink">live caterpillar crawling on a Weight Watchers-brand slice of packaged cake</a> in June 2011. She called it gross enough to put her off of cake forever.
An East Texas woman found <a href="http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zeBUII0VFKk" target="_hplink">a razor blade in a carton of Walmart ice cream</a> in February 2011. Considering the danger, she was surprisingly understanding. She told CBS, "I think it's just one of those random accidents that happen. When you make that much of a product and that many products, you're bound to have a machine break."
A Salt Lake City teen was hospitalized after biting into <a href="http://www.abc4.com/content/news/taking_action/story/Salt-Lake-teen-finds-mysterious-capsule-inside/zQSjtTghzEW7b8yHORpxBQ.cspx" target="_hplink">a mysterious green pill in a bag of trail mix</a> she'd bought at Whole Foods in January 2011. The teen felt numbness and pain throughout her throat. Whole Foods recalled the product from stores around Utah.
A California man claimed to find <a href="http://www.foxnews.com/story/0,2933,534460,00.html" target="_hplink">a condom in his French onion soup</a> at a Claim Jumper restaurant, also in July 2009. The restaurant's PR firm said that they found no evidence of wrongdoing after conducting an investigation of the matter.
In July 2009, a German tourist claimed to find <a href="http://abclocal.go.com/wabc/story?section=news/local&id=6914735" target="_hplink">a used tampon in his steak</a> at the Waldorf-Astoria in New York.
In 2009, a man from Bath, UK found <a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2010/09/30/dead-mouse-found-in-bread-photo_n_745069.html" target="_hplink">a dead mouse in a loaf of bread</a>.
At the height of the Beijing Olympics, reporters pounced on the Chinese food industry after <a href="http://www.couriermail.com.au/news/queensland/muffins-spur-beijing-scare/story-e6freoof-1111116061193" target="_hplink">athletes found paperclips in muffins served them at an official function</a>. The story's most surprising revelation may just be that Olympic athletes eat muffins.
No one said hot dogs promote longevity, but it's not like eating a frankfurter is as dangerous as someone sticking a gun in your face--unless your name is Olivia Chaines and you're eating it Costco. The then-31-year-old had <a href="http://www.clickorlando.com/news/3274884/detail.html" target="_hplink">swallowed a piece of a Hebrew National brand hotdog</a> in the shopping aisle of a Costco in May 2004 before she realized that it contained a piece of metal. X-rays revealed that the hot dog had contained a live bullet.
A New York woman <a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2011/08/05/mealbreakers-semen-sushi_n_919778.html#s323488&title=Bloody_Bandaid_In" target="_hplink">sued a sushi bar after she tasted semen in the sauce atop her spicy tuna</a> in June 2008; she says she still has samples frozen in her refrigerator.
In 2006, a 52-year-old man from Illinois sued Kraft Foods for $55,000 to compensate for the physical and emotional distress he suffered after allegedly biting into <a href="http://msnbc.msn.com/id/12843428/" target="_hplink">a "non-human animal tooth" in a container of Planter's Peanuts</a>.
Finding <a href="http://content.usatoday.com/communities/popcandy/post/2010/03/wonka-candy-launches-a-real-life-golden-ticket-contest/1" target="_hplink">a golden ticket in your candy bar</a> is great. But a gold tooth? Not so much. That's what happened to <a href="http://www.theargus.co.uk/news/1694237.print/" target="_hplink">a 62-year-old British man in September of 2007</a>. He contacted Mars to try and receive compensation, but got no substantive response.
Kitchen accidents happen. Knives are sharp; sometimes a cook will slice off a piece of skin the course of an evening. It's understandable. Not understandable? Failing to clean up the product of an accident. That, apparently, is what happened at an Ohio Arby's in June 2007, when a man found <a href="http://msnbc.msn.com/id/7634321/" target="_hplink">a piece of human skin sitting on the lettuce in his chicken sandwich</a>. The man sued, refusing a settlement that Arby's initially offered him.
A Baltimore man was eating <a href="http://www.wbaltv.com/r/2512486/detail.html" target="_hplink">fried chicken from Popeye's in September of 2003</a> when he discovered that the fast food store had inadvertently fried a mouse along with the chicken parts.
In June of 2001, 22-year-old Angelina Cruz bit into a burger from Burger King--and <a href="http://www.nydailynews.com/archives/news/2001/07/28/2001-07-28_fast-food_customer__i_bit_ne.html" target="_hplink">got pricked in the tongue by a syringe</a>. Citing HIV fears, she sued the chain for $9 million.