Tuesday, March 14, 2017


I have always been fascinated by metal detectors, and by the stories of valuable buried items that people have found. Well, now I have come up with a new use for them.

I was dining with friends at a highly recommended local restaurant a few years ago, when I bit into a nail in my dessert. Of course, I sent it back. A pity. The dessert tasted delicious. That is, until I crunched into that nail. I was lucky I did not break a tooth. Although they brought me a replacement dessert - the least they could do - it just didn't taste the same afterwards.

Metal in food is not that unusual, although it is usually small pieces of metal shavings – not the size of the nail that I almost ate. For instance, a few days ago there was a recall in the United States for some nine meatballs and chicken fried steak products that were produced by King’s Command Foods, LLC., of Kent, Washington.

And it doesn’t just happen in the U.S. I did a quick search to see what I could find out about similar incidents in other countries. In the UK for instance, there was a recall last month of “meat free mince” and of “crunchy biscuit spread” because of pieces of metal, both sold by that large UK supermarket Tesco as well as by other supermarkets. And last year there was a recall of biscuits in Germany by the Verden biscuit and wafer factory Hans Freitag. The company in the German case noted that its metal detectors had unfortunately not picked up the “metal hair” (metal detectors used on biscuits? That's something I didn’t know!)

Now if the restaurant I ate at had used a metal detector on my dessert, that nail would certainly have been picked up before the dessert landed on my table. I was thinking of going by and suggesting it to them. But I noticed that the restaurant has closed. No wonder, if that's the kind of food they served!


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