Companies never know what kind of public relations nightmare will come their way next. Fast food restaurants are not immune to such troubling challenges to their good names and money streams. Wendy's Old-Fashioned Hamburgers was the center of a controversy in 2005 when a woman claimed to have found a severed finger in a bowl of their chili. More recently, a woman in Singapore took McDonald's to task for having lizard meat in their food.
According to CNBC, she even posted a photo of the sandwich, a Chicken Sausage McMuffin, that was partially eaten on McDonald's Facebook page. The photo showed the McMuffin with what looked like something trailing from the meaty area. The customer, who used the name "Sandy Sand" on the Facebook post, claimed that it was a baby lizard's tail.
McDonald's Singapore served the supposedly reptile-infused McMuffin.
"The sample collected is 100 percent chicken," senior communications manager for Singapore Kevin Lim wrote in an emailed statement.
The "tail" was actually a chicken blood vein, it was discovered, which was white in color because the Halal slaughtering process drains away all blood. For those unfamiliar with Halal, it is the Muslim designation for foods that are permissible for consumption. All McDonald's branches in Singapore are Halal, in line with Muslim dietary requirements.
"We have also traced back the product's production process, and no product from the same batch had any quality issues reported," Lim added.
Sand would later comment her thanks to McDonald's Singapore for their quick response to her complaint. The company apparently sent representatives at a late hour to collect the sample.
But some accused Sand of simply looking for compensation. She stated, "I just want public awareness, and (for) McDonald's to answer for the unhygienic food, and also to urge them to investigate the factory supplying them with sausage patties."
Even though the lizard meat McMuffin controversy turned out for the best for McDonald's, the popular hamburger chain has fought rumors for years that they have odd substances in their products. At Snopes.com, the urban legend and Internet hoax debunking website, there is a complete rundown on the persistent but totally unfounded rumors that McDonald's has used worms in lieu of hamburger meat and chicken feathers in their shakes.
(photo credit: Terence Ong, Creative Commons)