Lend me a hand..er..finger?

Is it possible anymore to eat any type of food without fear of a severed appendage waiting inside, suspended like a turd in a swimming pool? Is that just too much to ask?

According to CNN.com, a man who ordered some frozen custard was surprised to find a severed finger inside. The finger, which was lost by an employee in an accident, was discovered Sunday in a pint of Kohl’s Frozen Chocolate Custard. When officials went to investigate, the owner confirmed that an employee had lost the finger in a food-processing machine accident.

First of all, if you know your employee has just lost a finger, and you can’t find the finger anywhere, wouldn’t the most prudent thing to do involve recalling and searching the containers of custard in which the finger fell? Wouldn’t a respectable business owner know that if they couldn’t find the finger in the factory, someone else would find it when they sat down for “family ice cream night?”

I’m sure I would have made that a high priority, to say the least.

The funny part, though, is how the finger was discovered. Here’s now Clarence Stowers describes it (CNN.com):

“I thought it was candy because they put candy in your ice cream … to make it a treat. So I said, ‘OK, well, I’ll just put it in my mouth and get the ice cream off of it and see what it is.” Stowers said he spit the object out, but still couldn’t identify it. So he went to his kitchen, rinsed it off with water – and “just started screaming.”

No doubt.

This all comes in the wake of the recent Wendy’s fiasco, where a Las Vegas woman claimed to have found a finger in her chili, only to be discovered later as a complete fraud. She had tried to sue, but when the negative publicity came out, she decided to drop the claim because, according to attorney Jeffrey Janoff, “it’s been difficult for her emotionally.”

The woman, Anna Ayala, is claiming that Wendy’s is hiding something, and that she is not dropping the suit because she could be found guilty of fraud. Instead, she is questioning why she is being “victimized again and again.” Wendy’s says that the finger was not cooked, and did not enter the chili through its ingredients. DNA tests are still pending.

While searching around the internet for more clarity on these subjects, I found two interesting things. One is a funny parody on Islamica News about a Halal butcher who lost his finger and just let it go. The second is a media tip sheet from the Farm Sanctuary that brings together facts on laborer deaths and injuries in factory farming. There are numerous facts and figures regarding the hazards of factory farming and agriculture, but the craziest piece is a list of documented accidents and deaths as reported by the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA). Be warned, the list is gruesome: Scroll down, it’s at the bottom of this link.

That’s enough to make me very thankful of my cushy cubicle job. I’ll just sit behind my computer with no fear of finding a severed finger under the keyboard, or a toe behind the monitor.

Or will I?

This was lovingly handwritten on May 3rd, 2005