Mealbreaker (n.): a nasty, non-edible surprise found in food while it is being eaten; often lawsuit-provoking, sometimes fabricated, always disgusting.
"Triple-washed" packaged salad mix sounds very clean—how much grit remains after mesclun has been washed twice? But sometimes, it's not enough—as Michigan man John Jones discovered June 29th, when he found a disemboweled mouse in a bag of Dole Tender Garden mix. He, his girlfriend and her seven-year old son had already eaten some of the salad when he found the dead rodent. Jones said he vomited immediately, and then they all went to the ER for a checkup. They then referred the issue to the FDA for investigation.
In news that's slightly less stomach-turning, but possibly more dangerous, a Texas woman—and cancer survivor—ate half of a BLT and fries at a Cracker Barrel in Houston before realizing that there was human blood on the fries and plate. The woman demanded that the worker whose blood it was be tested for HIV. Representatives from Cracker Barrel—while admitting that the there had in fact been an accident in the kitchen—said that the company cannot legally compel him to undergo such testing.
But it's not like this have never happened before; people find gross things in their food all the time. Sometimes it's dangerous, sometimes it's just gross—but it's always a mealbreaker. Here are 14 mealbreakers from the past few years: