6 Disgusting Food Scandals that Went Live on the InternetOctober 29, 2014
Thanks (or no thanks) to social media, every restaurant’s move is now recorded and updated in real time. Shares and likes lead to more people reacting and believing a shocking story as soon as it’s uploaded. The scandal sustains itself for weeks, especially for the more popular restaurants that most people frequent. Fast food joints such as Jollibee, Burger King, and Chic-Boy have had their share of bad social media stories. In this article, we round up a few scandals that have irked the public and two that have been debunked or died down after statements from other parties.
1. The Caterpillar Kangkong Special
Most Pinoys who frequent the net probably have heard or even followed the Chic-Boy bulate scandal of 2011. The story broke on Facebook three years ago and according to the album “Chickboy Scandal!!!”, the event happened on November 21, 2011. Sigrid Andrea P. Bernardo posted several photos of a kangkong order that came with a black caterpillar for free. The incident occurred in the Timog Branch, and her album includes a lengthy description not just of discovering the caterpillar, but also on how the staff reacted to the situation. According to Sigrid’s account, she ordered PHP 358 worth of meals that included the Ginisang Kangkong sa Bawang. As she began eating the vegetable dish, she noticed that it tasted like petroleum jelly.
After going through several leaves, she discovered the black caterpillar and couldn’t recognize its shape. A companion assumed it was eggplant, but an attempt to cut the insect proved otherwise. When Sigrid reported the incident to the staff, the manager got nervous and offered to change the order. Annoyed that they thought she’d still want to eat their food after the caterpillar’s presence, she said that she’d just bring the kangkong for takeout as she paid for the dish. But the manager also refused to comply with this request; they wanted to review the footage from their installed cameras first. Communication between management and customer grew tense to the point that Chic-Boy called two policemen. Sigrid heard no apology from the management; the branch’s explanation on how the food was prepared also infuriated her. Instead of acknowledging their mistake, this Chic-Boy branch suffered bad PR and lost a loyal customer.
2. McDonalds’ Maggot Coffee Mix
McDonald’s is usually consistent in delivering its cheap yet filling orders, yet Pika Yonzon Villafuerte ran into an unexpected ingredient in her coffee: maggots. The order came from the Petron SLEX branch. Pika had already bitten into one maggot in her mouth and the other came out of the lid’s hole, thus the photo’s placement of both creatures on top of the lid. She thought the creamer had solidified into clumps and she shook the cup to mix it in properly. But the shapes continued to appear solid even after mixing. Towards the end of her post, Pika makes no final claims that it was actually a maggot, as the shape could’ve resulted from the sugar or the creamer. However, she does warn readers to be vigilant about the food they order and to always double check for their health and safety.
3. Ipis Express
Cockroaches are inevitable for anyone who lives in Manila, but no one likes seeing the world’s most disgusting insect in their food. Sinangag Express suffered its share of bad PR when one Facebook post showed a dead cockroach mixed with the rice. The customers got no apology from the manager and the branch manager did not want to speak to them, according to the post. Similar to the Chic-Boy incident, they offered to replace the food instead of a refund. The customers pursued more action by writing a complaint letter, but they received no response from the company.
4. A Hair-Raising Jollibee Burger
Before the age of Facebook, there was Friendster and one user from that era posted several photos of pubic hair inside a burger. At least, that’s what the YouTube video claims in its description. There are no confirmations if the hair was the customer’s, but the hair’s thickness is certainly disturbing and not exactly appetizing. Like other food contaminations that have been posted, the video claims the incident was reported but the complaint was ignored.
5. Looks Deceive in a Burger King Patty
Last February, a Facebook post on a patty from Burger King’s Taft branch went viral. The disgusting looking holes embedded in the burger made the patty appear rotten. After posting this photo, however, Angela de Lange was invited by the country brand manager of Burger King. They explained to her and her brother that the patty they ordered “was natural, normal, and within their standard,” as her updated post reads. Burger King uses frozen patties and the perforations on the bun allow for “even cooking as the meat goes down the conveyor grill for their distinct flame grilled flavor.” To assure these customers they were telling the truth, the managers gave them a Whopper to dissect and they saw the same holes at the bottom. “They weren’t as pronounced as our burger yesterday,” the post says, “and it also wasn’t as pale.”
6. Rat Droppings or Leptospirosis?
Way back in 2005, ABS-CBN reported that correspondent Jenny Reyes suffered from rat droppings found in her coffee. She ended up with a fever, stomach ache, and vomiting after having coffee from a Chowking branch in Tutuban, Manila. She only noticed the droppings after having the coffee and showed it to the branch manager. But the manager told her they were just coffee beans, and she said it was unlikely, given that she ordered instant coffee. Such a claim seems odd as Chowking doesn’t serve that kind of coffee. According to the repost on a message board, BFAD tested the cup and saw that they were rat droppings. But responses to the post contradict the news item with reports that the victim was already displaying the said symptoms and that the coffee was a coincidental matter. The link to the article is also empty; perhaps this was just another case of sensationalist journalism.