It doesn't matter who you are, we've all had a terrible eating experience. It never starts out that way but like any good - or bad - surprise, a bad meal can sneak up on you.
Whether it be eating too much food, having an extra ingredient, or dealing with the consequences of not throwing an old dish in the garbage, the people in the following stories have had their fair share of bad luck.
(Content has been edited for clarity.)
Honestly, Who Does This?
“At a family Christmas party, there was a dessert table. I saw these small little donut looking balls, but they were chilled. I got excited because I thought they were cream puffs. Well, one relative saw me pick one up and told me she made them just like ‘some old relative who has long passed.’
I took a bite.
Chills went down my spine from the first taste, similar to if you screech a fork on a dinner plate. Imagine Sponge Bob when he ate Snail-Po. That was the same face I made.
It was a sauerkraut ball.
Who makes sauerkraut in ball form, disguises it as a pastry, then puts it on a dessert table?
I pretended to enjoy every slow chew and took another bite without swallowing the first to make it seem like I was interested. I immediately walked to the bathroom and spit it out.”
Is That Safe For Consumption?
“When I was 9 years old, my aunt took me to Friendly’s for dinner and dessert. Dinner was fine, but when I bit into the ice cream sundae, my first bite was awfully chewy.
After 10 seconds or so of trying to break up whatever was slowing down my ice cream consumption, I spit it out of my mouth to find a dirty fake fingernail that must have fallen off someone in the kitchen.”
A Little Extra On These Kabobs
“When I was younger, I was staring into space when I thought I saw the lining of the trash can move. I kept watching and, sure enough, the brown paper inside the bin was twitching.
It turns out, I had put an old kabob in the bin and had forgotten to empty it. As I moved the bin, out fell this massive lump of old meat with maggots oozing out of it in every direction. It was a kabob of maggots.
I will never forget the image of them all moving around.
My nan also told me many years ago that she once fancied a McDonald’s milkshake. After drinking half of the shank, she couldn’t get any more out of the straw, so she pulled off the lid to have a look.
There was a fly stuck at the end of the straw.
Rest in peace, Nan (unrelated to the milkshake incident).”
“DO NOT EAT THE GRAVY”
“A Costco opened up the next town over when I was in high school. My mom was thrilled because they were open to the public for a little while before they required a membership. She bought a huge package of large hot dogs, even though we are only a family of four. We had hot dogs twice a week for the next six months.
The thing is… she stuck the whole bag in the fridge; not the freezer. Over the next six months, those hot dogs turned a few choice colors, but we still ate them. I honestly don’t know how I survived childhood.
Another momism when it came to food: Turkeys come with their giblets (guts, organs, etc) in a bag inside the turkey. Well, for Thanksgiving, my mom would make the packaged gravy, wait until it boiled, toss in the giblets, stir for about two minutes, and then serve. My husband saw that, and almost vomited, telling me, ‘DO NOT EAT THE GRAVY!’
I was like, um, I’ve been eating that for about 22 years now.
I am lucky to be alive.”
What Lovely Customer Service
“There was a deli where my wife loved to eat. It was okay and they had a nice sandwich, but the tomatoes they used were always incredibly crappy. Many of them had started to turn into liquid and were runny and sloppy. I am sure there were times I took a tomato off the sandwich because parts of the tomato were black.
I would constantly ask for no tomatoes on the sandwich but they always put tomatoes on.
So one day, I told the clerk I was mildly allergic to tomatoes, so please don’t put them on the sandwich.
The sandwich was brought to me with tomato.
So I went to the counter and asked, ‘Could I have this sandwich without a tomato?’
The cashier fixed a death stare on me, opened the sandwich, and while looking at me, scraped the tomato off with the side of her hand before slapping the tomato on the floor at her feet. Then she handed me the sandwich back.
To this day, every time I have a tomato on my sandwich, even a good one, I think about the squelching/slapping noise that poor tomato made as she slapped it to the floor.”
She Didn’t Want To Have Anything To Do With This Mess
“I was visiting a friend one time. She was making some snacks when she smelled some stuff in the fridge. It wasn’t any good, so she took it to the garbage can, which was full and stinky. She muttered about how her housemates were annoying, they didn’t empty the garbage but just compressed it instead. She tried to compress the garbage, but the lid wasn’t closing and smelled ripe. She said, ‘I guess we need to take it out,’ as she looked at me. I looked straight back at her because I didn’t go there to empty her trash, especially this spicy roadkill mixture with flies buzzing around.
After a weirdly tense few seconds, she started grappling with the garbage bag. She was struggling, and the bag began to bulge as she pulled it from the can. On some level, I knew the only thing holding it all together was the structure of the can, and I started to step away just as the bag exploded all over the floor.
I only looked at it for a split second, and I remember greenish pink raw meat, a lot of juices and wriggling in the contents.
I didn’t stick around. I sprinted to the balcony and started dry heaving.
I could hear her screaming at me from the kitchen, asking why I wasn’t helping? I have no idea what happened in there, but about ten minutes later, she reappeared and said the snacks were ready. I suddenly remembered I had to be somewhere else. I held my breath and averted my eyes as I scrambled through the house looking for the shortest route to an exit.
This from the same weirdo who demanded I took my shoes off when I went into the bathroom because of hygiene. Yeah, sure, cultivating biological warfare-grade nastiness in your kitchen is fine though.”
He’ll Think Twice About Blindly Eating Chips
“One night, I was eating potato chips while watching TV. I was shoveling them into my mouth, so I was dropping a few here and there, and I felt one land on my chest. I automatically picked it up without looking at it because I was into the movie.
I was chewing away, loving life, and then something felt a bit odd about the texture, but I kept chewing because of salty goodness. Then I thought it felt like the food in my mouth was moving; a sensation I’d never felt before, so curiously, I reached up and fished out the remnants of my half-chewed chips.
I looked into my hand, and in it was a black, stringy ball of what looked like thread, but the ends of the thread were flicking around. I was shocked and unsure of what it was, so I threw it towards the TV. The mass landed on the carpet and unwound itself from the mangled up ball it had been mashed into. That ball of thread transformed into a fat black widow spider.
I felt the blood drain from my face that night and I don’t eat chips anymore.”
And They Thought Mayonnaise Was The Worst Thing On A Sandwich
“When we were in our early teens, my friends and I visited the local McDonald’s. One of our party, David, ordered his usual: a McChicken sandwich with no mayonnaise.
We got our order and as we sat down to dig in, David took a couple of bites of his sandwich before grimacing and exclaiming that the kitchen had messed up his order. They’d given him mayonnaise despite him specifically stating he didn’t want any. He held the sandwich out for us to inspect, to which it was pointed out to the horror of everyone at the table that it wasn’t mayonnaise. He had bitten into a big juicy cyst within the chicken fillet.
Cue much screaming, retching, and David running away to puke his guts up. Being that we were young, we didn’t have the self-assurance to approach the restaurant about the abomination David had just partially consumed. So we just got up and left.”
Her Friend’s Mom Wasn’t Paying Attention, But She Was
“I was at a friend’s parents’ house, and I was prefaced with the fact that they didn’t normally have dinner guests, so her parents were excited to have one over.
This was horrific on two levels.
I was in the kitchen chatting with my friend while her mother was making some kind of sauce to go over some good looking baked chicken.
She pulled out a half-gallon carton of milk and went to add a bit to the sauce. I just happened to be looking in that direction and saw the milk pour from the jug into the saucepan. Her mother turned her head away to say something to her father at the exact moment she poured in the milk. She did not notice that the liquid was the lumpiest, curdled milk I have ever seen. I’m talking centimeter sized lumps poured out of that jug.
She never noticed somehow and just stirred it in and continued making the sauce.
I must have had the most horrified look on my face because my friend asked me what was up. I said nothing.
After the sauce was finished, I watched as the plate of delicious looking chicken I was about to be served was completely covered in it.
The plate was set in front of me at the table and then her mother, wanting it to be a special and fancy dinner, took an elaborate candle holder out of a cabinet just behind and above me.
When she did this, an absolutely huge amount of dust fell off of the candle holder that had clearly not been used in years and fell all over the food on my plate.
The mother, after taking the first bite of the chicken, exclaimed, ‘I must have added a bit too much onion or something, it’s a bit sour.'”
“It Was There The Whole Meal”
“I was with my ex’s family one year for Christmas. Her grandmother was a sweet old lady, and she liked me a lot. She made this dish that I liked, and she made it especially for me this day. She served me a plate and watched as I took a bite. The first bite had a long hair in it. I didn’t want to pull the hair out in front of her because she would be crushed, so I chewed and swallowed. Then the hair was stuck in my throat. It was there the whole meal.”
He Lost Everything After His First Big Night Out
“I had been dirt poor for a while, surviving off of scraps and ramen. I finally got everything all caught up and ordered myself the biggest, topping-rich pizza I could get from a local shop. I stuffed myself silly…with something rotten, apparently, because I had the worst food poisoning of my life.
After nearly starving for a few weeks, I spent an ENTIRE NIGHT on the toilet with a bucket in front of me puking and crapping myself into oblivion. There was puke and poop EVERYWHERE. After a while, I had a gallon of water that I was chugging just to have something to throw up. I wound up in the shower in the fetal position while I leaked pure liquid and cried.
So yeah, never ate there again.”
A Big Gulp Of…
“Back when I was a smoker, I would use an old cup of soda to put out smokes. One day, I went to take a gulp of my drink and picked up the one I had been extinguishing butts in instead of my actual drink, and took a huge swallow of ash-flavored Dr. Pepper.
I still remember how I felt at the moment. I didn’t throw up, but I remember wishing that I could. It was one of the most disgusting things I’ve ever done.”
If It Were Only Plastic
“Back in high school, I was staying the night at a friend’s house. It was late at night, and we were deep into our binge session of ‘Halo Reach’ and Mountain Dew when we got hungry and raided his pantry. Among the spoils, we found some Little Debbie snack cakes. We distributed the spoils, and I was the first to open up and start eating.
The first bite tasted a little plasticky, but I ignored that assuming it was the packaging. I swallowed that bite and took another, but halfway through chewing that one, my throat started to tingle and burn, while the plastic taste only got worse. At this point, my friends had also bitten into their cakes and immediately spat theirs out. They were all staring at me wide-eyed and asked if mine tasted weird. I spat my second bite out and spent the rest of the night trying to get the taste and burning sensation out if my mouth. It turns out those cakes had been in their pantry for three years.”
Contents May Be Hot
“Young me thought it would be amazing to put a pack of gummy bears in a bowl and put it in the microwave to melt them and then put the melted sugar on top of a big bowl of ice cream.
The bowl I used to melt the gummy bears was not microwave-friendly, and it exploded in my hand with the heat shock after it went out of the microwave. I had boiling hot sugar on my hands for a good 20 seconds before I could peel it off under cold water.
I called my mom, and she came flying from work to take me to the hospital. Luckily, I had no severe burns, but since then, my left hand is quite sensitive to touch, and my right hand is a little redder than the other one.
It was not a good idea.”
You’re Not Going To Use Those Tongs, Are You?
“My husband and I would occasionally go to this Asian buffet because they had surprisingly good sushi. One time, I went to get some sushi and there was a cockroach chilling on the ice surrounding the plates of sushi. I went over to our table and told my husband what I saw, and he looked over at the sushi right as the ‘chef’ took the tongs that customers use, picked up the ice cube with the roach on it, threw it away, then PUT THE TONGS BACK FOR CUSTOMERS TO USE.
Part of the reason I went back to the table was to grab my phone and take a picture for proof. They just threw the proof away. I saw the waitresses looking at us, then the sushi area while walking around nervously. What could we do? We’d already eaten other food and they’d demand we pay. So we apprehensively ate a little more and got a ticket that had the price whited out and lowered. We never went back.”
The Cost Of Friendship
“I was young and shy and desperately wanted to be friends with the ‘cool’ hippie girl in my humanities class. One night she invited me over for dinner, just the two of us. I was so excited to finally be making friends with a girl at my college, I must have spent an hour trying to find the perfect outfit that said ‘I’m also a cool hippie girl; we are so compatible – let’s be friends forever!’
She served beets. Just beets. She sliced them up, put them in the oven, took them out, and put them on our plates. She didn’t use spices, olive oil, or anything. They were still raw (though warm) and basically the worst.
I ate them all because I wanted her to like me and think I was cool.
Luckily, the next time we hung out, she told me that she had a vision-dream that told her she was ready to be a mother, so she had decided to get pregnant with a stranger and have a baby on her own. That was the moment I realized I did not want to be her friend, and I never had to eat any of her weird, minimalist cuisine again.”
A Little Extra Crunch
“To this day, I can’t eat fruit crumble without getting nauseous.
When I was a kid, I was eating lunch at school one day. For dessert we had apple crumble, and as I was eating it, I was thinking that it tasted funny and was crunchy for some reason. While eating, I noticed that it was moving and that there were several woodlice crawling around inside.”
He’d Never Look At Raisins The Same After That
“A friend in second grade saw a raisin on a table and ate it. The teacher came by a couple seconds later with a tissue, looking for something. Not finding what she thought was there, she asked my friend, ‘Did you see that dead fly?’ That was in 1995 and he still has a phobia of raisins and flies.”
She Was Only Trying To Help
“When I was in kindergarten, I was once served spaghetti with tomato sauce. I already didn’t like tomato back then, but the following incident sealed the deal for me.
Essentially, I became the last one left in class as I was slowly eating. The rest of the class had already gone off to play, so I was feeling kind of crappy. A cleaning lady saw my predicament and tried to help. She mixed water into the spaghetti in order to dilute the sauce, but because there was no place to drain the water, I ended up eating some tomato-sauce-water-soup spaghetti.
It was horrible and prolonged my suffering. I don’t blame her because she was trying to help, but I’ve never been able to eat tomatoes without retching and dry heaving ever since.”