Current Netlore: Food and Drink
Internet hoaxes, email rumors and urban legends
Hoax = False, deliberately deceptive information
UL = Urban Legend - a popularly believed narrative, typically false
Rumor = Anecdotal claims - may be true, false, or in between
Junk = Flotsam and jetsam of the Net
NOTE: You can also locate specific items by typing relevant words into the Search box at the top of any page.
Aspartame (NutraSweet) Warning
Overblown email flyer dating from 1995, alleging that NutraSweet causes just about every malady known to humankind. Scientists balk.
Atlanta Restaurant Closed for Serving Rats, Mice, etc. as Food
Email hoax claims an 'Asian/Chinese' restaurant in Atlanta, Georgia was recently closed by authorities for offering dishes made of rats, mice, kittens and puppies.
Bananas Spread Flesh-Eating Disease
Necrotizing fasciitis, a rare and deadly disease, allegedly infects an entire crop of Costa Rican fruit.
BBQ Fetuses Eaten in China
Photos circulated on the Internet seem to prove that human infants are eaten in China. Are they real? (Not for the faint of heart!)
Biscuits for Brains
FLASH! Woman Shot in Head by Pillsbury Dough Boy!
Bottled Water: Don't Drink Bottled Water Kept in Car
Forwarded email warns women not to drink bottled water that has been left in a car because the heat supposedly releases cancer-causing toxins which "leak" from the plastic into the water.
Canola Oil: Hazardous to Your Health
This email tale claims that canola, usually touted as one of the healthiest of food oils, is actually toxic to human beings.
Chicken Head Found in Box of McDonald's Wings
You deserve a beak today!
Cockroach Egg Tacos at Taco Bell
A fast-food horror story, as told in six different locations around the U.S.
Cook an Egg with Your Cell Phone!
Forwarded messages offer scientific proof that you can cook an egg by placing it between two cell phones and placing a call.
Dihydrogen Monoxide (DHMO) Safety Warning
Forwarded email warns of serious health hazards associated with the chemical substance dihydrogen monoxide, also known as DHMO.
Diner Contracts Syphilis at Olive Garden Restaurant
Forwarded email claims a female diner contracted syphilis after eating a meal contaminated with 'three different types of semen' at the Olive Garden restaurant in West Des Moines, Iowa.
Dole Pre-Packaged Salad Mix
Email flier warns of lettuce and spinach in Dole pre-packaged salad mixes contaminated with e coli bacteria.
Drinking Cold Water with Meals Causes Cancer
Email flier claims drinking cold water after a meal slows down digestion and coats the intestines with 'sludge,' leading to cancer.
Drug-Laced Suckers/Lollipops a Threat to Children
Email flier purporting to originate from the North Little Rock Police Department warns parents that drug-laced candy in the form of suckers and lollipops pose a hazard to children and teenagers.
Flesh-Eating Bananas (South Africa Variant)
2005 variant of a forwarded email warning that shipments of bananas from Costa Rica are infected with bacteria that cause necrotizing fasciitis ('flesh-eating disease').
How Pringles Potato Chips Are Made
Is this well-known brand of potato chips actually made out of leftover McDonald's french fries?
Hydrogen Beer Explosion
Japanese man suffers serious burns while belching blue fire in karaoke bar!
Ketchup Tainted with HIV-Positive Blood
Email flier warns fast food consumers to use only ketchup from sealed packets because a man was supposedly caught placing HIV-tainted blood in a ketchup dispenser.
KFC Uses Mutant Chickens
Ever wonder why it's not called Kentucky Fried Chicken anymore?
Lemon Slices Pose Health Risk in Restaurants
New study finds that lemon slices/wedges served as garnishes in restaurants are often contaminated with health-threatening fecal bacteria.
ManBeef.com - 'Human Meat' for Sale
Calling all cannibals! Here's an e-commerce site just for you!
McDonald's Importing South American Beef
This chain letter calls on American consumers to boycott McDonald's because the burger chain has allegedly begun importing "much of its beef" from South America.
Is McDonald's the world's largest purchaser of cow eyeballs?
Mentos + Coca-Cola = Death
Email rumor claims two boys in Brazil died after eating Mentos and drinking Coca-Cola at the same time.
Microwaved Water Explodes in Man's Face
Email warns of a little-known hazard of using microwave ovens.
Mold in Pancake Mix Causes Allergic Reaction
Email flier quotes a "Dear Abby" column in which a parent describes her 14-year-old son's severe allergic reaction to mold in outdated pancake mix.
Neiman Marcus (Mrs. Fields) Cookie Recipe
Posh department store charges $250 for a cookie recipe; victim gets even by sharing it with the world. All the ingredients of a legend!
Pirate's Gold Chocolate Coins - Melamine Contamination Warning
Forwarded email says that Sherwood Brands Pirate's Gold Milk Chocolate Coins imported from China may contain deadly melamine and the Canadian Food Inspection Agency has warned the public not to eat, distribute or sell the candy.
The Pregnant Turkey
For a Thanksgiving laugh, mom stuffs a roast turkey with a cornish game hen as a practical joke on her naive daughter.
Rat Droppings on Soda Cans
A Hawaiian man supposedly died due to rat dropping contamination on soda cans.
Rat Urine on Soda Cans
Three variations of a "deadly contamination" rumor.
Sour Spray Candy Warning
Forwarded email recounts an incident in which a child experienced a laryngospasm (involuntary closure of the larynx, obstructing breathing) after drinking sour spray candy directly from the container.
Square Watermelons (Photos)
Emailed pictures of square watermelons grown in special tempered glass cases by Japanese farmers.
Woman Catches Leptospirosis from Unwashed Coke Can
False email rumor claims a woman in North Texas (or Belgium, or Botswana, etc.) caught the deadly disease leptospirosis after drinking Coke straight from an unwashed can contaminated with dried rat urine.
Woman Finds Human Finger in Bowl of Wendy's Chili
From the "Things That Sound Like Urban Legends but Aren't" file: A woman dining at a Wendy's restaurant in San Jose, California got the shock of her life when she realized the odd-shaped piece of meat she had just bitten into in a spoonful of chili was a human finger.