What you won’t find in a good homecooked meal

A few years ago, while eating at a restaurant, I bit into a sandwich and felt something hard. I opened theSausage
sandwich and found a paper clip. The young man who had made my sandwich — I hesitate to call him a cook — had no explanation for the mistake. Perhaps he put the clip in there to make sure the lettuce didn’t fall out. Perhaps he thought I needed some extra iron in my diet. Or perhaps the restaurant had started buying its meat at Staples.

In any case, he did apologize and made me another sandwich, which I ate with extreme caution. I wasn’t too upset, because I knew it could have been worse. A paper clip is rather harmless, unless you swallow it and it fastens your intestine to your gall bladder. (Now you know why I never made it to medical school.) In 2004, an Ohio woman found part of a finger in her salad. In early 2005, an Illinois woman found a Band-Aid in her French fries. A few months later, a North Carolina man found a finger in his chocolate custard. In 2006, a Netherlands woman found a live frog in her salad. And just when you thought you’d heard it all, a British boy has found a tooth in his sausage:

David Walker, ten, was eating dinner with his family when he felt something hard as he chewed.

He spat it out and realised it was a tooth.

His father Andrew, a writer, said: "It was a pretty gross moment.
David ran upstairs and cleaned his teeth because he was so upset.
Nobody else finished their meal."

Mr Walker, 41, took it to environmental health officials who confirmed that it was a milk tooth. [Link]

Now you know what the tooth fairy does with those teeth — takes them to the sausage factory.

"If it was a pen or a 50p piece I could perhaps understand that
it fell out of a worker’s pocket but a tooth is different," he added. [Link]

A milk tooth falling into the meat grinder — it’s yet another reason why we should keep protesting child labor. I’m not saying that’s what happened in this case. I’m just saying it’s either that or the tooth fairy.  Or perhaps the farmer’s pigs got into the trash bin behind the dentist’s office.

On Tuesday, David’s parents, who have four children, cooked the sausages with chips.

Tesco apologised and said: "We do take such incidents very
seriously and would welcome the opportunity to carry out our own
investigation with our supplier."

David’s mother Helen, 41, said: "I can’t imagine David will eat sausages again." [Link]

If that’s the case, he’ll probably be a healthier child. It’s hard to avoid processed foods completely, but it’s a good idea to keep them to a minimum. Just read the label of a food item at the grocery store and you might find ingredients like this: Polysorbate
high-fructose corn syrup, monocalcium phosphate, sodium stearoyl
lactylate, FD&C yellow no. 5, human finger, Band-Aid, live frog.

Well, perhaps you wouldn’t find the last three, but are the others really any better?

Photo by Edublogger

If you enjoyed this piece, you'll love Melvin's novel Bala Takes the Plunge, available in North America through Amazon.com and McNallyRobinson.com You can also find it at major bookstores in India and Sri Lanka or online at FlipKart, IndiaPlaza, FriendsofBooks or other sites. A number of readers have written reviews of the novel. An excerpt of the novel can be read here.

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