Loaf Of Bread Comes With Baked-In Rodent Goodness

_45896170_mouseBack in 2007, a man in Northern Ireland opened up a loaf of bread and found a whole, mercifully dead, rat. (The BBC is reporting that it’s a mouse, but it’s either a giant mutant mouse or a rat.) A judge heard the case this week, and fined the bakery £1,000 ($1,653) “plus costs.”

A defence lawyer told the court that the presence of the mouse was a shock to the company. He suggested it might have been put in the tin to “sabotage” the baker who has been in business for 60 years and has never had any complaints.

Neither the man who bought the bread nor the rat’s family received settlements for their pain and suffering.

RELATED: Man Finds Mouse Baked Into His Hot Dog Buns

Man found dead mouse in malt loaf [BBC] (Thanks, Kristin!)


Edit Your Comment

  1. Donathius says:

    But is the bakery “taking it seriously”?

  2. MustyBuckets says:

    Rats have scaly tails. As does this thing. Thus – RAT

  3. nakedscience says:


  4. nakedscience says:

    Also I used to have two rats as pets, this makes me sad :(

  5. pb5000 says:

    Ok, I actually agree with this. Assuming “plus costs” covered the guys legal fees and such then he doesn’t “need” settlements for pain and suffering.

    Typically in civil court cases like these, two fines are administered, compensatory and punitive damages. Compensatory covers the monetary loss and punitive serves as a punishment, so as not to let it happen again. This was clearly a mistake and not done intentionally. According to the article the company keeps clean standards and regular pest inspections. So a fluke accident shouldn’t hold them accountable for some guys trauma of being offset $2 for a loaf of bread that he couldn’t eat. Yeah I wouldn’t like seeing a dead rat in my bread bag either but it’s not considered a traumatic experience, especially considering he’s likely seen more animal carnage on the side of the road.

    my two cents

    • eb0nyknight says:

      @pb5000: What do you mean, not done intentionally? The rat wasn’t “in” the dough. It was in the tin. Unless this was a large chain bakery and automated, I just don’t see how the “handler” could not notice that there was a rat in the tin, before tossing in the dough.

      I remember stories from my friends who worked at McDonalds of how some guys would kill a roach, throw it on the grill, throw a burger on top of it and serve it. Just my opinion, but it sounds similar.

      I might have found the McDonalds incident unlikely until I worked there and saw someone drop frozen burgers on the greasy, dirty ass floor. It roll like a wheel for a foot and then gets picked up and placed on the grill.

      • MostlyHarmless says:

        @eb0nyknight: I find it somewhat difficult to imagine that someone intentionally put the rat in there. There really is no benefit a small bakery gets from doing that.

        It is also difficult to see how the guy would have put the loaf in, noticed the rat, and be like “oh crap! well fuck it, i dont give a rats ass”, and proceeded with the packing. I mean, as a customer, a rat is fairly hard to miss if you are taking the bread out of the tin. Surely the baker would have known that much.

        • eb0nyknight says:

          @MostlyHarmless: I’m not saying that someone put the rat in the tin (by tin, I mean the baking pan at the bakery). I am saying that some schmuck (as in the McDonalds example) must of noticed it in there and just didn’t care. The rat wasn’t in the dough. The rat was thoroughly burnt and thus must have been in the bottom of the baking pan.

          With it not being an automated factory (assumption), someone HAD to have put the dough in the pan, and I find it almost impossible to believe, not see the live or dead rat.

          Just because the bakery gets no benefit doesn’t mean they can’t hire some lazy ass that doesn’t comprehend the repercussions of a dumb act. (See the domino’s sandwich adulteration video on youtube)

          After the baking, I can easily see no one noticing the rat stuck to the bottom, since I don’t believe that baked bread is inspected thoroughly and then packaging it.

      • ekthesy says:


        I don’t know how this bread was packaged. But isn’t it possible that the rodent got into the bag containing the bread (it’s clearly crushed at the end of the loaf, not INSIDE it), and then when the loaves of bread were packaged, the rodent got squashed?

        I would think that if the rodent had gone through the oven there wouldn’t be so much hair on it.

        • eb0nyknight says:

          @ekthesy: Look at the rat around both legs, the arm and the nose. You can see that the rat was cooked with the bread. If the bread was baked and then the rat got in the bag, why is there a fairly clear baked outline of the rat on the bottom of the loaf?

          The extremities would have lost moisture and contracted during the baking, thus leaving the “burnt outline” around the extremities. You can clearly see the gap between the outline and the limbs.

          As for the hair, if the bread was on top of him (as I contend) as it baked, where could the hair go? Are you saying that hair melts when baked or something?

          • ekthesy says:


            At a high enough temperature (and I bet commercial bread is baked at at least 400 degrees) hair doesn’t melt but it burns away.

            If I had to put money down on it, though, I’d go with your explanation.

            • Firethorn says:

              @ekthesy: Personally, I’d figure they’d bake the bread at the same temperature people at home do – remember, baking at higher temperatures won’t result in faster baking, but with a burnt outside and raw interior.

              Instead you make the oven bigger and bake a lot of loaves at once.

        • RedwoodFlyer says:

          @ekthesy: The thing is…even if bread is baked at 400 degrees, that doesn’t mean the bread itself is 400 degrees. For example, if you put a pot of water in a 1,000 degree oven, the water will never, EVER go above 212 degrees… the only thing a higher temp will do is speed evaporation. If the bread got as hot as the oven, the same protein destruction that’s making the hairs evaporate would probably screw with the grain in some form.

      • catastrophegirl chooses not to fly says:

        @eb0nyknight: oh yeah, i saw the frozen patties off the floor onto the chargrilling machine at burger king daily at least

    • floraposte says:

      @pb5000: Actually, this doesn’t seem to have been a civil case–it was a charge of “placing unsafe food on the market.” There is apparently a separate civil case in the works. From here: [www.belfasttelegraph.co.uk]

      So the reason nobody was awarded damages was because this wasn’t the venue to do so.

      • sir_eccles says:

        @floraposte: Yup a much better article. This fine is just the statutory fine for the offence not any sort of damages paid to the customer. As far as I am aware English law doesn’t really go for much in the way of punitive damages for pain and suffering. More than likely you just get the cost of the item refunded and a pat on the back.

    • Con Sumer Zealot says:

      @pb5000: As so many other posters on here have said and I have to agree, this was too large to miss, someone had to see it putting it in the package, therefore guilty, therefore an accomplice, and therefore they should be punished criminally, civilly and otherwise.

      I don’t know how you arrive at the FALSE and preposterous conclusion this was “clearly a mistake and not done intentionally” and a “fluke accident”. The packager, even if they weren’t the source of the rat, passed it right along merrily, didn’t they?

      Some people like you are so sick and denial-based in your worship of the average mega-corporation and their God-Like brand images hypnotizing you that everything they do is goodness and light and any consumer complaining must be a criminal.

      Finally, roadkill on the highway hardly justifies or legitimizes it in the bakery, sir.

      Glove off the hand and slapped in your face. Forthwith.

      Regardless, this is hardly the blogspace for you.

  6. lasbrisas says:

    That is one of the nastiest things I’ve ever seen.

  7. Radi0logy says:

    Well here is an article I wish I hadn’t seen 7 minutes before my lunch break… ugh.

    • Wombatish says:

      @Radi0logy: Agreed, can we get some Kitty “Gross Picture Inside” coverup or something? It’s bad enough that it’s currently in the header, or that sometimes comments take a while to load and you can’t scroll away.

      • dingdang says:

        @Wombatish: Yeah, I expressed some dismay over the photo of a rotten snake head on a post about a month ago and was met with a chorus of, “If you can’t stand a rotten snake head then you’re too weak for the internet.” I’m still trying to figure out how to read Consumerist through Google Reader with the photos turned off…

  8. Dave says:

    Why Consumerist? Why just before I was about to make lunch?! *hurl*

  9. Starfury says:

    This makes me think of the old Monty Python sketch with the candy…Crunchy Frog and Ram’s Bladder. Guess you can add Rat Bread to the lineup.

  10. Mknzybsofh says:

    Bread with free meat baked in!! Who wouldn’t want it! Where can I get in on this deal? I’m starved!

  11. CthulhuRlyeh says:

    Am I the only person getting a Han Solo frozen in carbonite vibe here?

  12. jkinatl2 says:

    Sad for the rat’s family though. They, at least, deserved a little something.

    But seriously, isn’t that already an english dish? Pope in a blanket or something?

  13. ThyGuyX says:

    But the real question; how does the bread taste?

  14. ekthesy says:

    Uf-fa. I’ll have a slice WITHOUT so much rat in it.

  15. rdm says:

    Who can I donate money to to get Consumerist to stop displaying dead animal pics on the main page rather than burying these disturbing images under a cut?

    • Con Sumer Zealot says:

      @rdm: Um well, you see, that’s rather the point, you dolt. We see it, we get offended, we get enlightened and we rally around the consumer and attack / criticize, lose money and business for the company. That’s rather how this website works. Quite simple to avoid really. Get any RSS reader, Google Reader will do nicely, and just don’t open up titles you think might be gross. Better yet, just don’t read the blog.

      • rdm says:

        @Con Sumer Zealot: I don’t need to see a dead animal to be offended at something that is horrifying. I don’t know if you’re aware of this but it is possible to realize that something is *really bad* without having to see a gratuitous image showing it. Maybe words on a page without a picture are a challenge for you to grasp, though.

  16. mrgenius says:

    1000 pounds seems excessive for an honest mistake. It sounded like they did their due diligence with keeping up with inspections, etc. It is just an impossibility to keep all pests out of food service areas. And at least it was whole. If it were a twinkie factory, there could be rat guts in the creamy filling you wouldn’t know about until you crunched into it.

    Either way, nothing is grosser than that snake head post that made me projectile vomit across my office. I’d sort of appreciate it if Consumerist could leave these sort of photos for after the jump so you can choose to see them or not. Cause that’s nasty.

    • nybiker says:

      @mrgenius: I second your motion about keeping pics of dead animals as a link. Personally, I have an irrational fear of snakes so for me I’d prefer to have no snake pictures whatsoever.

    • ajlei says:

      @mrgenius: That Twinkie comment made me throw up in my mouth a little bit. I don’t eat Twinkies but…. sick.

    • Con Sumer Zealot says:

      @mrgenius: Oh liar, you didn’t either vomit at the office, just being gross to make a meritless point.

      Don’t like the blog, don’t read it.

      HELLO – Dramatic pictures get results, better yet it was a legitimate accurate picture.

      Don’t hate blogs and consumers just because they’re effective and you aren’t.

  17. coren says:

    Poor rat’s family deserves to be compensated

  18. Ratty says:

    generally I just let my rats hgave at the bread after baking, not during. Must be so hard to keep the concepts straight.

    Though I would like to take photos of a rat sandwich if they’d cooperate.

  19. Ben King says:

    This is literally one of my worst fears. I can’t eat big chunks of anything for fear that there might be something inside.

  20. fuzzymuffins says:

    the idea of whole dead animals in their food has been around for quite some time….

  21. zibby says:

    Maybe the bread was made for cats.

  22. HogwartsAlum says:


    Poor little ratty…

    “*squeak squeak sniff sniff* I think I’ll hide out in this nice tin…ooh, a crumb…wha- what’s that big white thing? Don’t drop that on me! AAAAAAHHH!!!!!”

  23. mathew says:

    They should have sold the bread as protein-enriched.

  24. uconn says:

    good thing it wasn’t sliced bread

  25. MissPiss says:

    Just peel the rat off and eat your bread!

  26. Bertmanintx says:

    Now that’s bread with fiber!

  27. savdavid says:

    This bread is fortified!

  28. Grrrrrrr, now with two buns made of bacon. says:


    Although things do get into food, so I’m not sure there’s any way this could have been avoided. It doesn’t sound like negligence.

  29. Brent says:

    This is the best thing since sliced rat-free white bread.

  30. digitalhen says:

    this is actually a Malt Loaf… it’s about 5 inches long, so it really is a mouse. a very dead mouse.

  31. trujunglist says:

    Goddamn I bet that smelled like shit when it was being baked. I wonder how they didn’t notice the smoke/smell billowing from that particular tin. It’s not like rats smell great when they’re alive, but when they die, especially via burning, it smells god awful.