Need money? Why not try sticking a syringe in some soup?
That was the plan of Australian man Daniel Ferris, 33, who plead guilty to charges of extortion after claiming he found a syringe in a can of Campbell's butternut pumpkin soup, the Victoria Age reports.
The ruse, which his lawyer says was an “unfortunate...temptation to deceive,” apparently was driven by hefty medical bills stemming from Ferris' two children, who reportedly each have autism and scoliosis. As such, “[the offence] had to be viewed in the context of the pressures affecting him and his children,” Ferris lawyer was quoted as saying in The Australian.
But it's likely Ferris will still face stiff penalties after aggravating the offense by making at least one media appearance in which he continued to claim that he found the syringe in his soup, The Australian reports.
Ferris' claims might have been believable given that needles have been known to show up in mass produced food in the past. Last summer, sewing needles were found in sandwiches on four separate Delta Flights, as well as on an Air Canada flight. In 2011, a man sued after biting into needles hidden in a Burger King sandwich in Hawaii.
Then again, at least it wasn’t a razor blade. One of those was reportedly found under some eggs in a McDonald’s breakfast in April.
Sewing needles, syringes or other sharp metallic objects are just one form of the food contamination which poses major health problems. It’s estimated that food contamination in its various forms causes 3,000 deaths nationwide each year.