For the most part, food recalls are pretty standard (and sometimes kinda’ gross). Most often, cross-contamination happens due to the fact that many manufacturers have a single factory, and common allergens like milk, wheat or peanuts make their way into foods they shouldn’t be in. Other times, icky pathogens like Listeria, E. coli and Salmonella cause foods to be recalled.
But, then, every once in awhile, things go awry in the food chain, prompting some supremely bizarre food recalls. Here are seven examples of some of those weirder food recalls:
1. An “Oddball” Hash Brown Recall
The weird thing in your food: Fore! There could be golf balls coming at you via your hash browns. McCain Foods recalled bags of frozen hash browns because they “may be contaminated with extraneous golf ball materials.” Turns out the golf ball materials may have been mistakenly harvested with the taters used to make the hash browns.
When it happened: April 2017.
2. An Ironic Recall Of “Toxic Waste Bubble Gum”
The weird thing in your food: Bubblegum dubbed “Toxic Waste Short Circuits” actually was found to contain elevated levels of lead, according to the Food and Drug Administration. Irony or foreshadowing?
When it happened: 2011
3. Hairy Flour
The weird thing in your food: Morrison Milling Company recalled wheat flour because of the presence of “soft nylon fragments of mesh resembling white hair.” The FDA-issued recall was blamed upon a faulty screen at the production facility.
When it happened: 2016
4. Batty Lettuce
The weird thing in your food: Two people in Florida reported they found dead, uh, bats in their pre-packaged lettuce, prompting Fresh Express to issue a precautionary recall, according to NPR.
When it happened: April 2017
5. A Not-So-Happy Meal
The weird thing in your food: A customer at a McDonald’s in Japan found a piece of blue plastic material in the fast food chain’s Chicken McNuggets. It prompted Micky D’s to recall 1 million chicken nuggets, reported Mother Jones. How the plastic snuck into the Nuggets appears to be a mystery, though. Even grosser, a McDonald’s customer in Osaka found a human tooth in his fries.
When it happened: January 2015
6. Smelly Cereal
The weird thing in your food: Don’t go wagging your finger at spoiled milk for this funky one. Kellogg recalled 28 million boxes of cereal because they had a waxy smell coming from the package liners. It was apparently so strong, the cereal took on the taste, too. The recalled cereals were Apple Jacks, Corn Pops, Froot Loops and Honey Smacks.
When it happened: June 2010
7. Dangerous Applesauce
The weird thing in your food: Trader Joe’s voluntarily recalled jars of unsweetened applesauce because they potentially contained glass.
When it happened: February 2017