This Two-Inch Metal Spear Does Not Belong In A Dancing Deer All-Natural, Organic Blondie

Update: Dancing Deer apologized.

Helen writes: “I had some friends over for dinner last night, and didn’t feel like making dessert from scratch so I bought a package of Dancing Deer brand blondies (they’re advertised as organic, all-natural, etc. etc.) to serve instead. So after dinner I opened the package, took out the top three blondie bars, cut them in half to be a bit more normal-sized, and set them out on a plate. Everyone loved theirs, but when I bit into mine — it bit back. I pulled it out of my mouth to find a two-inch-long. quarter-inch cylinder of metal baked right into the damn thing.”

Of course I documented it with a digital camera and a ruler, and I kept all the packaging, the uneaten blondies, and the piece of metal itself. Today I called Dancing Deer and spoke to their Quality Assurance person, Anne Zielinski, who — while very nice — at no point apologized (I guess this is a legal thing?), though she took down my personal information and said she would be sending me a mailing kit so I could return to them the metal, the packaging, and the remaining product.

A couple of my less scrupulous friends are urging me to sue Dancing Deer for whatever they’ve got, but that’s probably not going to happen: I like their products, I wasn’t hurt, and I don’t want to lie and say I was. At the same time, Dancing Deer hasn’t offered me *anything* – an apology, money, products, coupons, even a refund – and I’m not sure what I deserve here. What’s the protocol for this? What happens next?

We wouldn’t sue, but terrible customer service can lead otherwise reasonable customers to litigate. Let’s not forget that the woman who sued McDonald’s after spilling scalding hot coffee on herself only went to court because Ronald refused to apologize or take responsibility for the accident.

Two weeks after speaking with quality assurance staffer Zielinski, Helen has yet to receive the promised return kit or an apology, and two messages left with Dancing Deer have gone unreturned. The blondie-encrusted cylinder is sitting idly in a sealed container. Tell us, dear Consumerists, what, beyond an apology and a few freebies, should Helen reasonably expect?

Update: Helen reports a happy ending: “Actually, I spoke to Anne Zielinski again yesterday (finally got through!) and she was very apologetic about them, in her words, “dropping the ball.” She said she would send over the UPS kit right away, along with lots of cookies. I’m feeling much better about everything :)”



Edit Your Comment

  1. Techno Viking says:

    Well, if they have not offered an apology then sue them. Only that will get their attention. Instead of taking that very seriously and replying to you by email, phone or b a letter with an apology and a gift of some kind, I suggest again sue them and get their money. Once they lose money to you, then next time perhaps companies won’t be so stupid again. What gets me, is that instead of trying to at least try to fix something they keep quiet like it never happened. And then they tell you something to throw you off and save their money. When companies keep quiet about something when in fact they should do anything to prevent same mistake, well they only hurt themselves because their loyal customers are fed up with the business practices of these companies. So my advice is to sue them and for a large settlement. Ask yourself what would have happened if you did eat that and swallowed. Sharp pains in your stomach and gun, and possible tearing of inner muscles, tissue, and your gut, or maybe death because anything can happen. But at least make them think over something by paying you and don’t go easy on their coupons its too beneath you to accept that. Go for a higher stake.

  2. azntg says:

    They say America is a litigation happy country. Go for it and sue! Bring some media attention too.

    Seriously, it seems like the only way to get the attention of companies and get them to make amends for a shoddy product is to file a lawsuit their way and bring negative attention. Either that or EECB. It’s just ridiculous and disgusting.

  3. ClankBoomSteam says:

    Bare minimum, she deserves a refund. Although I’m guessing they’ll need to get around to returning her calls before she’ll get even that. If I were Dancing Deer, I’d be offering an apology, a refund, and a slew of coupons and freebies. The bottom line: if Dancing Deer fails to offer anything more than the “attention” they’ve given her so far, it’s time to call a lawyer or a local news station.

  4. humphrmi says:

    @azntg: No kidding. Corporations bemoan litigation but can’t be bothered to follow up with their own promises. Screw ’em, go to court. Do you think the metal object in your Blondie would not have hurt a five year old?

  5. MrEvil says:

    I really don’t think this warrants a lawsuit. Want to be 100% safe from stray bits that break off the machinery? DON’T BUY FACTORY PROCESSED FOOD!

    Yeah, Dancing Deer should refund her money or send her a free package, heck Jack Link’s sent me a free fresh package of jerky because I got a moldy one in a 3 pack from Sam’s. However Lawsuit material this ain’t. If you sue over something like this, you need to harden the fuck up.

  6. AndyMan1 says:

    I’d expect 3 things:

    1) a refund or replacement. The product was defective, they need compensation for that. I wouldn’t expect coupons etc. above the price of a refund.

    2) An apology. They screwed up, and they’re very lucky this person didn’t get injured. Even a verbal “we’re very sorry this happened.”

    3) And probably the MOST important: some proof or followup to show the reader they’re rectifying the problem so it doesn’t happen again. “Hey, we sent a guy to the processing plant, and the maintenance guy said it look like it came off of blah. We’re replacing that part of the machinery” or “Our a pack of wild rabbits ran through the plant and distracted our QA guy for 20 minutes, so he missed it”

    If I was to call, my motivation would mainly be WHY is there a giant hunk of metal in my food, and can I be sure I won’t find another hunk of metal in my food in the future.

  7. ClankBoomSteam says:


    Not if they continue to ignore her calls; after a point, the only recourse consumers have at their disposal is to threaten the corporation in question with a lawsuit. It’s overkill, but if the other option is no attention whatsoever from the offending company, the choice is clear.

  8. MercuryPDX says:

    I hate to be a jerk about it but, nothing. The only damage suffered was a faux pas over coffee. The McDonalds woman actually got burned with coffee.

    Give them one more shot; I’d suggest a call to their “corporate orders” number (888.699.DEER option 3 – from their FAQ), be “high touch” and ask for a direct number for whomever is over Anne Zielinski.

    If you still get no apology/coupons/freebies then that lets “you”, and by extension us, know EXACTLY what kind of company they are. IMHO, that’s tit for tat without lowering yourself to the SUE! SUE! SUE! level your ‘less scrupulous friends’ would have you sink to.

    And if by some off chance Trish Karter, president and CEO of Dancing Deer happens to come across this story, I’d advise her to hold off on the ‘heavy cookie tasting responsibilities‘ she and her children have undertaken unless they need more iron in their diets, at LEAST until they figure out where the metal came from.

  9. MercuryPDX says:

    I am also soooooo not shocked that people suggested a lawsuit in the time it took to compose my reply.

    How much should she sue for? $54 million?

  10. MercuryPDX says:

    And just to be clear, this isn’t “Nameless Faceless Big Money Corp.”. If you check out the site, it’s very small biz.

  11. PCDEC says:

    Last I knew digital pictures or video is inadmissable in court. Use a 35mm camera to get pictures or have the metal object documented by a 3rd party before sending it to the company. Better safe than sorry.

  12. marsneedsrabbits says:

    I guess, since they refuse to take even the most minimal amount of responsibility for their actions/inactions, I would sue.
    And report them to the FDA.
    While we all need iron, this isn’t the way to get it.

  13. Insder says:

    Dancing Deer is based in Boston, MA. I emailed some info off to the Consumerist that SHOULD help Helen get somebody to listen to her. The next time I am at work, I will make sure to email any contact I have at the main office a link to this story, and hopefully someone should take care of you. I will note that the main office is usually very good with taking care of their unsatisfied customers, and they give the after hours call center a good amount of leeway when reshipping customer’s orders for free. This is so unlike the Dancing Deer that I know and love (and have ordered from!).
    Disclaimer: While I do not work directly for DD, I am an employee of a company they contract their after hours center to, and thus have a direct email contact with most of the executive resolutions personnel).

  14. GF_AdventureGrl says:

    I think that she should expect something-at least a refund and an apology. There’s no reason why anyone should have pieces of metal in their food, no matter if it is factory processed. I commend the writer for not immediately jumping to suing the company, but if there is still no response, at least threatening a law suit should do something to grab their attention as to the importance of this matter. You’d think a small company would take better care of its customers.

  15. MercuryPDX says:

    @Insder: See? No lawsuits, no threats, the story just showing up here is enough to get the right thing going.

  16. StevieD says:


    The proper adult way of handling a minor situation.

  17. deweydecimated says:

    The mailing address for the company is on their website. Stop waiting for the kit and mail it in. On your way to the post office, drop by the store where you purchased the blondie, talk to the manager of that section, and show the item. The store will likely refund the money. (The original letter makes it sound like this was store-bought, not ordered through the web site.) Dancing Dear should provide an apology, and some freebies if they’re interested in keeping a customer. They should also do some damage control with the involved store, which is a more important customer relationship to keep intact.

  18. Insder says:

    While I can’t guarantee what she’ll get in return for this, this is fairly major compared to the small stuff we get at after hours. Most of our issues like this get escalated directly to executive at the main office. AFAIK, Dancing Deer Main Office is there until 2 (that is when the calls usually start bouncing to us) on Saturdays, and they are not there on Sundays. I believe they’re there until 4-5 on Monday-Friday. For example, a recent customer received a stale order of cookies, and her whole order (far more than just a package of cookies) was reshipped to her at no cost. So they’re generous, I just think this fell through the cracks (every company makes mistakes, but excuses are just that, excuses. If a solution comes of it, then even better.)

  19. A few years ago, we got a piece of metal in a bag of tortilla chips from a health food company. We notified them. They apologized, said it was a piece of metal from their conveyer belts, and sent us a box of food.
    We didn’t sue because we were not harmed. We just wanted them to know about the problem, and they handled it in a respectable manner.
    I won’t name the company, because they handled it well.

  20. Bay State Darren says:

    This Two-Inch Metal Spear Does Not Belong In A Dancing Deer All-Natural, Organic Blondie
    Yes it does!

    I just feel the need to argue./irrelevant commentary

  21. MercuryPDX says:

    @Insder: I have no reason to doubt it. It appears to be a smaller, “out there in the public” type of company… not Walmart or Comcast where there are bottomless chasms for things to fall into.

  22. windowface says:

    @deweydecimated: she shouldn’t just haphazardly send the affected product to the company’s mailing address. who knows what kind of employees would come across the package and merely dispose of it, thus throwing out the basis of her entire case.

  23. MercuryPDX says:

    @BayStateDarren: Come closer…. closer… my cute Polly Pocket Shiv wants to tell you something. ;)

  24. deweydecimated says:


    Attn to the person she was communicating with, and call her and tell her it’s on the way?

    In any event, she should get the store involved.

  25. MercuryPDX says:

    @windowface: I don’t understand what kind of “case” you and others think she has? She suffered no harm or damages.

  26. astrochimp says:

    @MercuryPDX: The psychological impact of being afraid of blondies henceforth?

  27. LAGirl says:

    i wouldn’t return anything to them until you are happy with their response/solution.

    just think: what if it was a small child who bit into the metal and he/she suffered severe cuts and/or bleeding? perhaps this will help Dancing Deer to reevaluate and improve their quality control, and hopefully prevent someone being seriously harmed in the future.

  28. MKizzle says:

    Unfortunately, this stuff happens more than people realize. I manage a restaurant and have had to deal with this kind of thing before. Random things near food prep areas will, at some point, end up on someone’s food. It’s not malicious, nor is it intended. It’s an accident. However, I apologize right away to the customer whenever something is amiss with their food. There is nothing wrong with saying, “I’m sorry that happened to you.” It doesn’t hold you legally responsible for the problem; it’s just the NICE THING TO DO and it goes a long way toward turning an angry customer into someone who is a little bit more pleasant to deal with.

    Dancing Deer should think about reevaluating Anne Zielinski’s position with the company and take this as a serious sign to inspect their equipment so more pieces don’t fall off into food.

  29. elisa says:

    What on earth is a blondie? looks like a light brown “brownie” to me, is that what it is?

  30. goodkitty says:

    At the very least she has a good claim to a product replacement, and you could take it to the BBB and whatnot for nothing more than a replacement box of brownies. While I’d hate to sue, I really don’t like companies that shrug off potential injury either, and I’d probably get them in small claims for something like $1000 just to get their attention. If you win, then hey, at least you won’t feel so ignored. If they’re so messed up they don’t even appear or respond and you win by default, then you still have your souvenir for the local media (because by that point, they really deserve all the bad press they can get, because God only knows what else fell in there that isn’t so dense that they don’t care about, like rats… but rats are all natural too).

  31. bostonmike says:

    Please don’t sue Dancing Deer — they make really wonderful cookies.

    @Dancing Deer — Please deal with this properly! The highest priority should be to figure out how this happened and make sure it won’t happen again. This time it was a large metal piece that would probably break someone’s tooth at worst. Next time will it be small metal shards that someone could swallow? And take some responsibility for customer relations. Send a refund check, a mailer, a handwritten apology letter, an assortment of OTHER products, and flowers. And do it fast. I don’t want to see your company go under because some lawyer told you the safest approach was to be evasive.

  32. ClankBoomSteam says:


    Yep, that’s basically what a “blondie” is. Recipe doesn’t usually call for chunks of metal, though.

  33. pinkbunnyslippers says:

    For those of you who are saying “But what if she’d been injured” or “What if it was a small child who bit into it?”, you don’t build a case on what-ifs – you build it on facts, and the FACT of the matter is that this woman was NOT injured, and it was NOT a small child who bit into this piece of metal.

    The woman is owed an apology, a full-refund, and if the company’s smart – some free food as a goodwill gesture. Maximum. IMO…

    I think this site’s whole raison d’etre is to help consumers get what they need/deserve after they’ve been wronged by bring attention to the matter. They act on behalf of us to get the job done specifically so we *don’t* need to go into court merely to grab “attention”.

    Suing this company is not the answer. And litigation-happy people who think it’s the ONLY way to be heard are the same people who clog up this country’s court systems. Utilize outlets like this blog, your local media, etc. Courts should be the LAST stop!!

  34. eyebleave says:

    Honestly, she’s fortunate it was a large piece of metal! If it had been smaller shrapnel that wasn’t obviously recognized, who knows what damage may have been done. For that matter, if this piece broke off of the machinery, who knows there aren’t other tainted blondies with shrapnel for someone else to consume.

    Dancing Bear doesn’t know for sure and can’t assure us as they haven’t done a thorough investigation. This is NOT something to be taken lightly just becuase she was not injured. Others could have been, or may yet be.

  35. eyebleave says:

    @pinkbunnyslippers: The fact is, there may well be a small child who is in danger or will be harmed because Dancing Bear is failing to give this situation the attention it deserves. Once is bad, but occasionally understandable. Allowing for the possibility of it happening again because you refused to take action after a warning is neglegence. If this is as a good a company as everyone here says it is, they need to take action and investigate this.

  36. eyebleave says:

    BTW I would definatly contact the purchasing store. A friend of mine purchased a bag of frozen spinach from Whole Foods that had an unacceptable item in it. Whole Foods immediatley removed all of that product off their shelves until the supplier could assure them it was safe.

  37. kjherron says:

    I’m inclined to agree with @marsneedsrabbits. You should report this to the FDA. You don’t know if this is an isolated incident or not. Given how the company has handled this so far, you can’t trust them to handle the larger consumer safety issue properly.

    See this page for how to contact the FDA. Here is a list of recent recalls, including one about metal fragments in some lollipops.

  38. chiieddy says:

    Call your local health authorities and notify the store you bought the product at. Oh yeah, and your local media outlets. They love stories like that. Even better would have been a human body part!

  39. FangDoc says:

    Metal pieces in a food product is the sort of problem a company should be going to Defcon 1 over. Whether someone got hurt this time or not, it’s evidence of a problem that is probably not a one-time freak occurrence. Not to mention, couldn’t that piece possibly be, oh, I don’t know, important to the blondie-making machinery?

  40. zizou says:

    @eyebleave: It’s Dancing DEER.


  41. FangDoc says:

    Actually, finding metal in a food product resulted in one of my best CS experiences ever. In approximately 1993-4, when I was in college, I wound up with one of those scary crimping-staple things they close the ends of cased processed meats with in my mouth while eating a Subway cold cut combo. I didn’t injure myself in any way, just felt it on my tongue, removed it from my mouth, said “huh,” and took it up to the woman at the counter, who based on her reaction, must have been the owner. She lost it, but in a good way. After apologizing up and down and repeatedly asking if I were hurt in any way, she 1) refunded my money, 2) gave me a stack of coupons an inch thick (good ones, like BOGO), 3) THREW OUT the remaining prepackaged cold cut combo meat packs, and 4) was on the phone with her supplier, reading them the riot act, by the time we left the store. My friends and I happily continued to patronize that Subway for the rest of college.

    THAT is how Dancing Deer should be handling this, not by sticking their collective fingers in their ears and going, “la la la, I can’t hear you.”

  42. jfischer says:

    I would grab the stainless steel hunk, and travel to the bakery where these things are made with a camera crew to “return” the item to its rightful place in the production process. Could it be part of a Hobart floor mixer? Could it be an employee’s body jewelry? Perhaps it is debris from the spy satellite that has fallen out of orbit, and the company has a claim against the National Reconnaissance Office, yet is innocent of any wrongdoing itself.

    Think documentary. Just like the book “Glass, Paper, Beans”, except it is the story of how the brownie was made, and where the extra extra crunchy bits came from.

    I’d guess you’d get a very attractive offer from the company to buy the rights to the story and film. They’d (of course) want to use it for internal training purposes, and would want to swear you to secrecy.

    Never underestimate the power of a “camera crew” even if they don’t have any experience at all.

    Or even video tape in their camera. ^.^

  43. moodytunes says:

    I’d demand that DD appoints you Chief Brownie Taster and QA Analyst, and gives you a chair by the end of the conveyor belt so you can “test” all the delicious fresh brownies that go by.

    Or ask for a bakery/factory tour…

    Seriously, I have no idea what I’d do in this situation. On the one hand it’s frightening to think of what could have happened, or to think of more spears in more brownies somewhere. On the other hand, our food supply is full of big, scary mechanical devices that pump out products at insane speeds in the name of efficiency and cost savings. It’s no surprise that we find scrap metal, nuts and bolts, etc. occasionally.

    If anything, I’d think that DD could go back to whoever makes the machine with this wonky spear part and try to get some warranty/service plan love. Another Consumerist post for that one!

  44. theysaidwhat says:

    Call and find out where you can send a General or Food Products Liability claim. Most companies will be able to give you a company name and/or a toll free claim reporting number, fax number and mailing address for submitting claims. Or you can have an attorney submit the claim for you.

    Their insurance company will care–especially if you threaten press. We’ve put reps on planes before to check out complaints where press was threatened.

  45. chrisgoh says:

    DD should have investigated this immediately. They need to see what piece of equipment this is from, determine if there are more pieces broken off it and possibly in other products. If so, they probably need to issue a recall. Say someone is hurt by another piece. They will sue. If their atty is any good, they will probably find this story and use the fact that they were notified and did nothing as a way to prove gross negligence on behalf of DD.

  46. theysaidwhat says:

    Also, if you can’t get anywhere with the Dancing Deer company, you can try filing a claim with the market that sold it to you. They in turn will end up filing a claim against Dancing Deer.

    Try emailing a link of this story to Dancing Deer as well. That oughta do it!

  47. Dsmith171 says:

    Do not send the piece of metal back to them before talking to an attorney. Not suggesting you sue them, just saying you don’t give away the key piece of evidence that times them to the situation before deciding what you want the eventual outcome to be. Consider what you have as a very dumbed-down version of DNA evidence. It would be a pretty simple procedure to prove the metal was baked into the brownie by the manufacturer as opposed to, say, you.

    Sending the metal piece back to the company would be akin to mailing the ski mask back to the guy who just robbed your house before calling the police.

  48. EllenRose says:

    This is not a job for a lawsuit – nobody was hurt. After a considerable (documented) wait for action that does not come, this is a job for PUBLICITY. You got Bozo, so point out the nose and shoes.

  49. Zamboni MacN'Cheese says:

    Although you are perfectly within your rights to sue, you have suffered no damages, other than the cost of the spoiled product. No damages = no basis for relief = suit gets dismissed and you reimburse DD for the time their nice attorney spent defending this baseless action.

    On the other hand, they should offer you coupons and freebies, and they will need to see the metal object to figure out which part of their equipment is now missing a limb.

  50. matt1978 says:


    There’s no need to sue.

  51. snoop-blog says:

    that was just an “organic” toothpick

  52. snoop-blog says:

    i think finding a sharp metal object in your food is grounds to sue. this company is in it to make a profit, and shouldn’t put consumers at risk for their bottom line. if they are too busy or mechanized or whatever to prevent sharp metal objects from being in their food, they are being neglegent. sure it happens to you, but how do you know this isn’t a more wide spread thing. if this happened to a dozen consumers, bet everybody would be on board to sue then.

  53. helen says:

    Hi! I am the Helen of the giant piece of metal.

    Between sending in my story and the time this post went up, I got on track to what I think was a great resolution. I just emailed Carey the following:

    I spoke to Anne Zielinski again yesterday (finally got through!) and she was very apologetic about them, in her words, “dropping the ball.” She said she would send over the UPS kit right away, along with lots of cookies. I’m feeling much better about everything :)

  54. Hoss says:

    Dancing Deer Baking Co is a wonderful, generous company — gives a lot to the community including establiching itself in an improverished zone and donating lots of time and funds to area charities. Cut them some slack friends

  55. pillow_fight_girl says:

    I used to work at a cookie company at the mall in high school. We got the dough shipped to us frozen from corporate headquarters in giant boxes – then we’d scoop the dough with ice cream scoopers and bake the cookies fresh in the store.

    One time we were about half-way through a box and there was a clang as the baker was scooping out dough. He dug around a little bit and voila! There was a six inch long rusty metal screwdriver in the dough! All I could think of is some factory repairman hanging high over the giant cookie dough mix, dropping his screwdriver in – shrugging and getting another screwdriver out.

    We stopped using the box, called corporate – they basically said, “Oh well” – we rinsed off the screwdriver and hung it in the back.

    This was 1984 – way before all the crazy lawsuits.

  56. says:


    this organic stuff is getting scarey…does “organic” also mean “unregulated”? im getting to get the impression that this organic stuff is like a more expensive black market system of food.

    Their are some perfectly fine organic products, but this is REALLY frightening. Someone could have gotten some significant damage (more so than eating too many trans fats…which is something you do to yourself)

    Thank God this wasn’t eaten by a child.

  57. humphrmi says:

    @Hossofcourse: How’s about your generous company answering the OPs issues, and doing what they said they’d do, then we’ll cut them some slack, eh?

  58. pfeng says:

    Oh for heaven’s sake — it’s a bit that fell off a machine in the factory. No, bits absolutely should not fall off that machinery into your food; I don’t think any food-making company agrees that they SHOULD. That can not change the fact that sometimes they DO, for unexpected reasons. So the company wants the bit back is so they can go into their factory, find what machine it came off of, and fix whatever problem caused it to break and figure out how to prevent it in the future.

    The fact that it has taken them two weeks to get on top of the problem is far more worrisome than a metal piece falling in the food in the first place. That indicates there is terrible (if any) communication between customer service and internal quality control / factory maintenance, which is a bad situation; it’s even worse in high-risk manufacturing like food processing. Somebody high in the ranks of Dancing Deer should look into THAT problem. I’ve worked as a manufacturing engineer for seven years and I would be furious if somebody neglected to tell me that one of my factory’s machines was broken enough to violate FDA regulations — but I’m weird, I take pride in my work.

    Foreign objects got into food on rare occasions. Shit happens. (Read “The Jungle” and be glad it’s more rare than it used to be.) But when the food maker doesn’t jump on the problem and fix it, that’s clearly saying they don’t care, and that’s a big red flag to me to never buy their products. Even delicious products like these which I used to like.

  59. bohemian says:

    The biggest issue is how did metal end up in the blondie. If the company is not going to actively try to find this out to stop it from happening again it makes all of their product potentially dangerous. I am more worried about their lack of concern that they may be putting more people at risk and not caring. At this point I would not buy anything of theirs because it looks like they are not too worried about potential danger to a consumer.

    As for the lawsuit angle. Luckily nobody was hurt but the potential for some serious physical damage was there. A company should be more concerned about the potential major hospitalization of a consumer of their product.

    Sure things happen and machines can cause things like this. But if they apparently don’t care that they may have machinery spitting out metal into their product it degrades the product.

    This isn’t nabisco or generic cookies from Walmart. This is supposedly a higher end organic brand, one would expect better.

  60. KingPsyz says:

    But are they taking this seriously?

  61. snoop-blog says:

    @PSN: kingpsyz: NO! they are taking it VERY SERIOUS! you can’t forget to add the “very”. it makes all the difference in weather they are being “sincere”.

  62. KingPsyz says:

    oh well in that case nothing to see here, move along people.

  63. smash1011 says:

    A customer at a coffee shop I work at once bit into a muffin and pulled a penny out of her mouth. She didn’t freak out about it. Things happen. Especially with mass produced food. Just imagine all the bits and pieces of foreign objects you don’t catch and ingest. If people are really so panicked about the odd objects they find in their food, the best thing to do is to prepare it yourself.

  64. KingPsyz says:

    penny VS. 2″ metal shank


  65. marsneedsrabbits says:

    I read once that doctors who apologize to patients when they know they’ve made mistakes are less likely to be sued than doctors who don’t in similar situations. It’s apparently because people want an honest resolution more than they want to sue over minor issues.

    This customer shouldn’t have to sue, but at this point they are being ignored and what else will get this company’s attention and get them to make it right for the customer and assure that this doesn’t happen again?

  66. smash1011 says:

    @PSN: kingpsyz: OMG!! Call the authorities!

  67. Correct me if I’m wrong, but isn’t it a health code/law to require a metal detector at the end of your cooking process, before the items are boxed up?

    I’ve been to a few food factory tours (Mission, Hershey’s, Boudin, See’s, General Mills) and they all had metal detectors scanning the product as it went off to packaging, just in case any bits of machinery got loose. Some of the tour guides even mentioned that they’re super sensitive, being able to detect specks even smaller than 1cm. Don’t know if that’s true, but the general concept of checking your food for metal is sound.

  68. KingPsyz says:

    OK, I’ll go into more detail…

    If you get a penny in your muffin you might be miffed (or would that be muffed?), but you know what a penny is and it’s a “self contained unit” as it were. Unless it was a piece of a penny.

    The logic being while it sucks it was in your food it’s inoccuous and there’s nothing else to worry about. But with a metal shank, you’ll assume it broke off of something so how many pieces fell in, what else fell in, are there small metal flakes that will shred my colon tonight? ect.

    So yes, Metal Shank still has Victoly.

  69. zizou says:

    @helen: Glad you got it all sorted out, and now they’re sending you free metal-less blondies.

  70. Crim Law Geek says:

    My family owns a cookie factory in the Caribbean. The absolute last step in the manufacturing/packaging process is a trip through a magnetometer (metal detector). This is because machines naturally get worn down and small pieces get into the product. I believe if the magnetometer picks up anything, the entire batch is thrown out, the line is stopped, and all of the machines are checked for broken parts.

    I’m really surprised that the FDA doesn’t require food manufacturers to have magnetometers. I bet you a nice fat law suit will make Dancing Deer install one though!

  71. sam1am says:

    I had some of these brownies about a month ago. They are VERY VERY expensive. If they were cheap-o I could understand – but from a premium company you have to expect premium customer service.

  72. says:

    @iransofaraway: Ehhhh, I would think it is more a “best practice” of the industry, rather than a regulation. The implementation of sensors like this (and yes, they can be that sensitive) is pretty cheap and easy. A regulation would be more like “don’t have metal bits in your food”, leaving it up to individual businesses to decide how they will implement it, than “put inductance sensors on the conveyor belt”. So if somebody wanted to put an X-Ray machine on the line instead of inductance sensors, or magnetometers, they could.

    Which could be what you meant, in which case never mind :)

    And it’s possible that Dancing Deer has one but it broke. Sensors fail as much as machines drop metal bits, probably even more often. It’s up to DD to follow up on exactly what part(s) of their production line failed to allow the contaminated product out the door.

  73. nuton2wheels says:

    It’s a prison shank!

  74. pigeonpenelope says:

    suing them would have been ridiculous. the person wasn’t injured. as long as the company replaced the brownie and compensated with one more, she has been taken care of. if she was hurt, one would expect the company to pay for her medical bills and a bit for pain and suffering. we really need to be intelligent about mistakes. a company is not perfect. if we keep suing companies, we’re going to have economic issues worse than we have today because companies are not going to be able to thrive in our own country. already our doctors are having issues because of frivolous malpractice lawsuits. do we want to continue with companies that make a mistake that didn’t hurt anyone? if she was hurt, had to go to the doctors, brought it up to the attention of the company, and they ignored her and did nothing about it, they should be sued. in this case because she wasn’t injured and they compensated her, nothing more need be done.