Pop quiz: what’s the grossest thing you can imagine? For many of us, the answer would involve biting into fast food and discovering that what we thought was a tasty piece of chicken was actually a not-so-tasty piece of sewer rat. But such stories are just urban legends, right?
Well, we hate to break it to you, but it turns out fast food is just as dodgy as those stories say it is. From animal brains, to deadly viruses, to human flesh, here are the ten worst things ever found in fast food…
10. A Kentucky-Fried Chicken Brain
Even the most rabid fried chicken lover would admit there are some parts of the bird they’d never, ever eat. Like the claws, for instance. Or the eyes…or the brain.
Student Ibrahim Langoo nearly didn’t get a say in the matter. In 2013, the 19-year-old bit into some KFC in Colchester, Essex, and discovered a grey, wrinkly lump that looked all sorts of gross. Langoo immediately uploaded a photo of the thing to Facebook, presumably while trying not to vomit.
The lump was identified as either a brain or a kidney. KFC apologized and gave Langoo vouchers we’re 90% sure he’ll never use.
9. A Happy Meal Condom
There are some conversations you never want to be having with a 7-year-old, such as “daddy, what’s a condom?” When that conversation is triggered by the discovery of one in your daughter’s Happy Meal, so help you God.
In 2009, this exact scenario happened in Switzerland. After ordering a Happy Meal, a local girl started eating her fries, only to discover a rubber lurking at the bottom of the box. Everyone freaked out, and the police even got involved.
Hilariously (or disgustingly, depending on your point of view), this isn’t the first time someone’s reported finding a condom in a McDonald’s meal. A similar story surfaced in 2007.
8. 9mm Hot Dog Cartridges
In 2004, a woman at a Costco store in Mission Viejo, California, bit into a hot dog and felt something chip her tooth. That ‘something’ turned out to be a live 9mm cartridge.
It gets worse. Although the woman (obviously) spat the cartridge out, it turned out there’d been another in the dog. And she’d already swallowed the darn thing. Doctors X-rayed her and found the bullet lodged deep in her stomach. For her part, the woman was remarkably philosophical. “If a bullet’s going to be in your stomach, at least it didn’t pierce the skin to get there,” she was quoted as saying.
7. A 7-Inch Baked Knife
Biting into a bullet might be bad, but at least it isn’t likely to kill you. The same can’t be said for biting into a 7-inch knife. In 2008, John Agnesini ordered a 12-inch Subway sandwich in NYC. He sat down, took a bite, and nearly slashed the inside of his face open.
Somehow, the Subway employees had managed to bake a large blade into the bread. By sheer chance, Agnesini bit into the handle instead of the blade itself, saving his face from a brutal injury. Not that he got off Scot-free. The presence of the knife still gave him food poisoning, thought that’s probably preferable to a permanent face-based injury.
6. Soda Fountain Fecal Matter
‘Fecal matter’ is a polite way of saying ‘poop particles.’ In other words, it should be the last thing you want to turn up in your soda fountain drink. Well, we’ve got some bad news for you. If you’ve ever used a soda fountain, there’s a strong possibility you’ve drank some of these poop particles. A 2010 study estimated that as many as 48 percent of American soda fountains are contaminated in this way.
It gets worse. If you live in Virginia, one tested soda fountain returned a 90 percent chance of drinking fecal matter. You better believe this can be bad for you. In 1998, 99 soldiers in a US Army base were hospitalized after drinking from an affected soda fountain.
5. A French-Fried Chicken Head
In poultry production, the chickens are decapitated long before they get anywhere near being packaged for human consumption. Evidently, workers in one unknown French factory simply didn’t give a flying fart about this. In April 2016, a customer walked into a Quick restaurant in France, ordered fried chicken, and was promptly given a deep-fried bird head.
Just in case you’re wondering, no this isn’t some weird kind of French delicacy. The guy uploaded a video of his find to the internet, and grossed out the entire country. About 20,000 people called for someone to be fired for the slip up. As far as we know, no one ever was. And apparently this type of things happens more often than you’d think, considering the fact that the above photo isn’t even from this particular incident.
4. A Human Thumb
Remember that old Friends episode where Phoebe finds a thumb in her soda can? Sure seemed like the sort of zany story that could only unfold in a sitcom, right? Try telling that to one unfortunate Arby’s customer. In 2005, David Scheiding bit into a chicken sandwich at a diner in Ohio. He nearly swallowed a piece of thumb.
It turned out the manager had been shredding lettuce earlier in the day when he sliced off the tip of his thumb. He dressed his wound but couldn’t find the missing piece of flesh. Apparently, it got lost in the lettuce, and from there made its way into Scheiding’s sandwich. Unimpressed, Scheiding sued the restaurant for $50,000.
3. A Human Tooth
Man, if there’s one thing we’re taking from this article, it’s that you should never order French fries. In Osaka, Japan, a female customer made this fatal mistake at a McDonald’s in 2014. Opening the box, she found a human tooth staring back at her.
Incredibly, this wasn’t the only freaky thing found in McDonald’s meals in Japan that year. A piece of vinyl was found in a chicken nugget not long after, and before that a child bit into an ice cream sundae and got a mouth full of broken plastic.
2. A Bioterror Weapon
There are lots of bugs that can get into fast food and make you sick. Usually, these are the result of poor hygiene. If you were eating out in Oregon in 1984, though, they might have been the result of a bioterror attack.
At the time, a cult called the Rajneeshee was trying to rig a local election to take over Oregon’s government. Rather than simply field a decent candidate, they decided to make everyone but their voters too sick to go to the polling booth. To that end, they targeted salad bars and taco stands across the state, deliberately infecting them with salmonella. 751 people were sickened, with 45 requiring hospital treatment. Nonetheless, the cult still lost the vote and imploded soon after.
1. A Murder Victim
We’ve saved the worst for last. In 2010, three homeless men were arrested in Russia for the murder of an associate. Incredibly, this wasn’t the worst part of their crime. That came when they disposed of his body by cooking him and selling him as kebab meat to unsuspecting locals.
The case took place in Perm in the Ural Region. The men confessed to using their victim as meat at a kebab shop, but when police raided it they found no traces of human flesh. Not because the men were lying, but because all the bits of dead guy had already been sold and eaten. If there’s anything worse than finding the remains of a murder victim in your kebab, it’s not finding out about those remains until after you’ve eaten them.