Sunday, November 12, 2006

Del Monte strikes back

In a rare case of life imitating, eh, life, fucking Del Monte have once again almost poisoned my family.

If you're wondering what the fuck I'm going on about, read this and then report back here. Go on and read the fucking thing, it sets the scene for this post. Seriously, if you don't, it's like watching The Empire Strikes Back without ever having seen Star Wars. Just look at the title of this post if you need any further confirmation.

I'm in a sweary fuck of a mood at the moment. Okay, I admit, the first time Del Monte almost killed my family was partly my fault, but this, this is inexcusable.

After Erin finished her dinner this evening, I went to the fridge and got her a (Del Monte-made) Fruitini for dessert. Being a gluttonous bastard, I helped myself to a mouthful of the orange jelly on the journey from the fridge to the dinner table. Moments later, I splattered this mouthful all over the living room floor.

The smell emanating from the "jelly" was a curious mixture: the blandness of wallpaper paste crossed with the fumes from superglue. I've never tasted wallpaper paste or superglue, but the taste was definitely more akin to something industrial than to anything jelly-like.

I was pretty sure it was lethally toxic, but just to be on the safe side, I shouted to Linzi to come downstairs, and made her taste a bit of it. She made it to the sink to spit hers out. She's a lady, whoa whoa whoa she's a lady.

(Incidentally, Linzi always goes apeshit at me for horsing into the children's food, so I felt particularly smug this evening after making my discovery. "I was merely performing my role as a taster to make sure the food was fit for human consumption, you see. And LOOK! I protected our daughter from ingesting jellified death!" Kav 1, Linzi 0.)

Upon closer examination, the container was undoubtedly contaminated with something. I've done a picture to highlight the contents. Bear in mind that this is usually just a uniform translucent orange - there should be no patches of stuff. Click on the pic to zoom:

Based on the knowledge I obtained as part of my microbiology degree, I've established the whitish stuff to most likely be a member of the Clostridium family. If I had any, I'd put my money on Clostridium botulinum. The presence of even a millionth of a gram of the C. botulinum toxin is all it takes to trigger botulism and near-instant death in humans*. Of course, it may just be C. difficile, in which case all we would expect is severe diarrhea; I did not have sensitive enough devices on my person to detect the exact strain**.

The brownish stuff is obviously the freshly-hatched eggs of a flesh-eating insect of some kind. However, having no expertise in this field, I can only speculate with a high degree of certainty that the insects, if ingested, would have erupted from my innards (or the innards of my family, bless them) in the same manner as poor old John Hurt met his demise in that scene in Alien**.

Of course, I will be writing to Del Monte to ask the stupid cunts what the fuck they think they're playing at, trying to poison another generation of my family. I may even ask my mother to do it - imagine how bilious she's going to get when she hears about this.

I'll keep you posted.

*C. botulinum spores are one of the reasons it's bad to reheat leftover rice. Instant death, I tell thee.

** Of course, I've made up most of these two paragraphs, with the exception of * above, and the bit about diarrhea.


Bock the Robber blathered this crap:

Botulism, as you know, was outlawed in the seventeenth century, and anybody caught practising it was automatically flogged, burned and squashed.

Give up the botulism, Kav. Cease being a botulist and you'll be a better man for it.

As regards the writing to food companies, I have to tell you that my beloved daughter made an art form out of it. I appear to be considerably older than you but eventually you will be of an age with me, and you appear to have offspring the very same as I do.

My beloved daughter, from the earliest years (five? six? seven?) made a habit of writing to the whole fucking lot of them with complaints and receiving back gigantic boxes of freebies.

Hey! How bad? Stick with this system, Kav. I assure you, it will yield huge quantities of chocolate, which will certainly please the women in your life.


Steph blathered this crap:

Christ on a bike!
You should have eaten it. That way you could have sued.
If you lived that is.

Conan Drumm blathered this crap:

I only heard recently about the re-heating rice issue... oops, been doing it for years... I must be 80% botulistic at this stage...

Cindy blathered this crap:

What's this about re-heating rice? Seriously?

Devin blathered this crap:

Del monte have it in for you Kav.If you do complain they'll probably send you a crate of anthrax spores.
"Tell you wot;You 'ave an apple"

Debbie blathered this crap:

I will never eat fruit like that again. Thanks.

Old Knudsen blathered this crap:

If you ever tell your mum please do it in person and please let me be there.

Fat Sparrow blathered this crap:

"C. botulinum spores are the reason it's bad to reheat leftover rice. Instant death, I tell thee."

I see you've spent your $140 on smoking the good shit.

It's called a refrigerator.... Perhaps you've heard of them? This isn't Indonesia, where people leave out the cooked rice for a couple of days, and then sit down to nack on it. Good grief.

Kav blathered this crap:

bock: Excellent tip, thank you. I'm starting a list of companies to complain to, starting with Cadbury, Ben and Jerry, and TGI Fridays.

steph: I've kept the evidence and am going to send it off to the bastards.

conan: Ah, don't worry, it's not very common. It does happen though.

cindy-lou: Yeah, it's true. Ideal conditions would be if the rice has been left at an ambient temp for any period, and is not adequately reheated.

devin: Not if I get in there first. I've put some herpes in the email I sent them.

debbie: With the taste of that, you wouldn't be able to eat it anyway. It was disgusting.

old knudsen: Don't know if I can ever bring myself to tell her. She'd probably write back to Del Monte apologising.

fat sparrow: Oooh, someone got out of the bed on the wrong side this morning. Or night, whatever the feck time it is there.

True, I've sensationalised this for humorous effect, but I didn't make that up. It doesn't need to be left out for days - just an hour or two left out at room temp is sufficient time to allow the spores to germinate and produce the toxin. The toxin can be rendered ineffective by thorough heating, but not everyone reheats food as thoroughly as they should.

Although it can be treated, if you're the first person in an affected group to get botulism, there's a 25% chance you'll die. However, if you refrigerate leftovers immediately, and thoroughly reheat them, you should be fine.

This has been a public service announcement.

The Swearing Lady blathered this crap:

Devin is a genius. That was the best ad ever. No, the BEST AD EVER. Yes.

Also, botulism and all that. You should have patented the jelly and sold it to wrinkly celebrities at €250 a pot. You pleb.

Conan Drumm blathered this crap:

Sending Del Monte a tub of your phlegm is a sensible way to get rid of it and will leave the bath a bit cleaner for the Missus's ablutions.

fatmammycat blathered this crap:

Blee, you were lucky you didn't eat it. My brother lost 2 stone last year after eating a dodgy yoghurt, and most of that 2 stone came out rectally. Not velly Gud at all. Do write and complain though.

fyrchk blathered this crap:

That just made me throw up a little in my mouth.

Mairéad blathered this crap:

A really good example of karma! It sneaks up on ya when you least expect it?
Funny (but very disgusting) blog! I enjoyed it alot!!!

Auntie Pauline blathered this crap:

Oh dear luv. That's not too good is it? I recommend you send back the tub to Del Monte toot-sweet. They'll give you the red carpet treatment not to tell anyone. A bit late now I know but it's worth it to see them dance to your tune and offer you the earth. Or a years supply of tinned pineapple slices.

On second thoughts, don't bother.....:(

jali blathered this crap:

I've got an "ookie" feeling in my belly. (Of course there are flesh eating insect eggs inside me - I'm easily influenced - this is why my mother always insisted on a chaperone for me - but that's another story).
Sooo glad the lovely Erin was protected by Super (dessert eating)Dad!

Fat Sparrow blathered this crap:

"Oooh, someone got out of the bed on the wrong side this morning. Or night, whatever the feck time it is there."

Dammit, I'm not getting any lately. Sleep, that is.

Fucking toddlers. Oh, if it weren't for eBay having those stupid rules about selling off kids, I'd be rich by now, and have sleep besides.

Sassy Sundry blathered this crap:

Eeewwww. There was reheated rice in your Del Monte snack? Ick on a stick.

AMS blathered this crap:

it looks skankatonic. almost as yuck as the solidified tin of coconut milk i opened yesterday. i would have sent it back to the bastards but i had to get rid of it, the smell, the texture yuck.

Bock - I used to do the same thing when I was younger. My mam nearly freaked when a guy from suicra drove from cork to clare with a crate of sugar cos I had complained that there was a lump in one of the bags.

Taihae blathered this crap:

send a letter of complaint, with pictures. with luck, theyll send you a crate of goodies or gift certificates as hush money. if you dont trust it as edible, you can flog it off to someone who does.

Desirea Madison blathered this crap:

I'll have to remember to smell my food before I taste it.

Summer blathered this crap:

Those little fruit cups have always scared me. Always.

Kav blathered this crap:

Sweary: My stuff was far too concentrated and would've killed them stone dead. I'm working on an attenuated version for mass production. I'll give Allergan a run for their money.

conan: I do not wish to speak of the phlegm incident ever again.

FMC: I could do with losing a stone or two...maybe I will eat it after all.

fyrchk: Did it taste good?

mairéad: Welcome, cheers for stopping by. Ah karma...I hadn't thought of it in terms of cosmic retribution. Interesting.

auntie p: Welcome to you too. You have an air of familiarity about you, I suspect we've met before. I'm complaining as we speak.

jali: Welcome back, good to see you around again!

FS: Meet me out back. I can sort you out - £100,000 per child.

sassy: Indeed. I nearly died.

ams: You spacer, you could've had a lifetime's supply of coconut milk!

taihae: I hope to post their grovelling response in the near future.

desirea: That's always best practice.

summer: Is it the firmness of the jelly that puts you off?

Kieran blathered this crap:

Has anyone blamed Old Knudsen yet? There's little doubt it was him. It's always him, one way or another.
He's Highlander don't you know.

Kav blathered this crap:

kieran, I thought you'd abandoned me. Don't worry, I've already challenged knudsen (if that is his real name) to a duel at sunset.

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