Razor blades in our food? Really?

What is it about razor blades and food? Is this, like, the ultimate scary thing we can think to do to someone? Is it an American tradition?

I ask because of this story on Deseretnews.com. A couple complained that they found pieces of a razor blade in some doughnuts they bought at a Smith’s Food Store in Draper, Utah. A co-worker of theirs also bit into one of these pastries.

They reported this to police, but police said the couple’s story didn’t add up (criminals rarely are good at math). Turns out the couple planted the razor blade parts, ingested some of them in order to attempt to get a large settlement out of the grocery chain, and then let the co-worker take a bite, too.

Of course, these are just allegations at the moment — but is this sick, or what?

I have a hard time even imagining the moment when these two hatched this plan and thought it would be a great idea. Pardon the pun, but this wasn’t sharp thinking.

What’s even worse is doing a Google search on razor blades in food. This kind of thing apparently happens all the time.

A KSL.com story from last September told of a man who found a small blade inside a meal at the Rumbi Island Grill in Murray, Utah. The restaurant said a zucchini chopper had broken and may have been responsible.

This Huffingtonpost.com piece references a lot of such incidents at McDonald’s restaurants across the land.

My guess is many of you have heard stories about razor blades in apples or Halloween candy. Those stories are a big reason why some parents choose to take their kids to organized parties rather than letting them go trick-or-treating.

However, it has been hard to document any actually cases of razor blades ending up in treat bags. That apparently hasn’t kept the idea from catching on.

How many of the cases referenced above were planted by customers hoping for a settlement? How many came after harsh words were exchanged with restaurant employees? (That’s a disturbing question to contemplate, because it means some employees may be carrying blades and just looking for excuses to use them.) How many are really attributable to sickos who lurk inside food processing plants?

We may never know. My guess is razor blades remain a quite rare ingredient in cuisine — one that happens to get a lot of attention each time it surfaces.

Why food criminals rarely think to use anything else remains a mystery, however.

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About the Author

Jay Evensen

Jay Evensen is the Senior Editorial Columnist for the Deseret News. He has 32 years of journalism experience covering politics and a variety of other assignments at news organizations ranging from United Press International in New York City to the Las Vegas Review-Journal and the Deseret News, where he has worked since 1986. During that time, he has won numerous local, regional and national awards. Most recently, he was given the Cameron Duncan Media Award, given annually in Washington, D.C., by the advocacy group RESULTS, to the journalist judged to have done the most to further the cause of the world's poorest people.

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