Good news: the large, fuzzy creature that an Ohio woman found nestled on the top of her can of Chef Boyardee spaghetti and meatballs was not a rodent hoping to star in a “Ratatouille” sequel. It was just a fluffy, cuddly clump of mold.
ConAgra, the company that makes Chef Boyardee, released a statement last week about the pasta’s rodent-free status. Despite the family’s claims in their YouTube video that they saw tiny feet, they were mistaken.
“It’s not an animal of any kind, that it is most likely mold,” said Dave Jackson, spokesperson for ConAgra Foods. “We will confirm this with a series of tests we’ll be doing over the next two days.”
Those tests are expected to be concluded by Thursday.
Jackson says they believe the can was damaged on the way to the store.
“Sometimes a very small piece of damage to a can that would be very difficult for a customer to see, but we have the ability to test and determine, could lead to something like this,” said Jackson.
The company’s advice to consumers: Don’t buy dented cans.
We contacted ConAgra for the final test results, and will update this post when we get them. UPDATE: Here’s the statement from ConAgra:
Upon a thorough lab analysis, our food safety experts have confirmed that the substance found in the can of Chef Boyardee spaghetti and meatballs is mold, likely caused by damage to the can during shipping. Regardless of this outcome, it’s not acceptable for a consumer to receive a product in that condition, and we regret the incident. We have shared these findings with the consumer.