At least until your food points back.Originally Posted by Raisor
At least until your food points back.Originally Posted by Raisor
tee hee heeOriginally Posted by UKFlounder
How, then, are those people of the future—who are taking steroids every day—going to look back on baseball players who used steroids? They're going to look back on them as pioneers. They're going to look back at it and say "So what?" - Bill James, Cooperstown and the 'Roids
Perhaps they can now borrow the KFC "finger lickin' good" motto?
Pay attention to the open sky
Finger-in-chili investigation widens
Authorities search home of woman who made claim
The Associated Press
Updated: 7:21 a.m. ET April 8, 2005
SAN JOSE, Calif. - Investigators searched the Las Vegas home of a woman who claimed she scooped up a mouthful of finger along with her chili at a Wendy’s restaurant last month.
City police, working with their counterparts in Las Vegas, served the warrant Wednesday as they investigated how a finger ended up in Anna Ayala’s bowl of chili.
“We are looking into every aspect in this case,” San Jose police spokeswoman Gina Tepoorten said. “We are talking to people she knows as well as the finder of the finger. ... We want to determine who this finger belongs to and how it ended up in a bowl of chili.”
Police would not say what was listed in the warrant.
Ayala, 39, was at the San Jose restaurant March 22 when she claimed she scooped up the 1˝-long fingertip. She later filed a claim with the franchise owner, Fresno, Calif.-based JEM Management Corp.
“Just knowing that there was a human remain in my mouth ... it is disgusting. It is tearing me apart inside,” Ayala told ABC’s “Good Morning America” on March 28.
Wendy’s spokesman Bob Bertini would not comment on the police investigation.
There was no answer at a home phone number listed for an Anna Ayala in Las Vegas. However, she told the San Jose Mercury News she would like to know what police were looking for in her home.
“I’ve been dragged through the mud,” she said. “We’ve been treated like animals. I’ve been through too much.”
On Thursday, Wendy’s announced it would give a $50,000 reward to the first person providing verifiable information leading to the positive identification of the origin of the finger.
“It’s very important to our company to find out the truth in this incident,” said Tom Mueller, Wendy’s president and chief operating officer.
Wendy’s maintains the finger did not enter the food chain in its ingredients. All the employees at the San Jose store were found to have all their fingers, and no suppliers of Wendy’s ingredients have reported any hand or finger injuries, the company said.
The Santa Clara County coroner’s office, using a partial fingerprint to attempt to find a match in an electronic database, came up empty. DNA testing is still being conducted.
Investigators searched the Las Vegas home of a woman who claimed she scooped up a mouthful of finger along with her chili at a Wendy’s restaurant last month.
"I prefer books and movies where the conflict isn't of the extreme cannibal apocalypse variety I guess." Redsfaithful
Seems like everyone is pointing a, er, um, FINGER at everyone else.
Just wish they'd all just chili out.
Hmmm. A history of suing. Sued another restaurant a year ago! I know who my finger is pointing at now.
Wendy's Accuser Has Litigious History
By Ken Ritter (AP)
Las Vegas - The woman who claims she bit into a human finger while eating chili at a Wendy's restaurant has a history of filing lawsuits - incluidng a claim against another fast-food restaurant.
Anna Ayala, 39, who hired a San Jose, Calif., attorney to represent her in the Wendy's case, has been involved in at least half a dozen legal battles in the San Francisco Bay area, according to court records.
She brought a lawsuit against an ex-boss in 1998 for sexual harassment and sued an auto dealership in 2000, alleging the wheel fell off her car. That lawsuit was dismissed after Ayala fired her attorney.
Ayala claimed Friday police are out to get her and were unnecessarily rough as they executed a search warrant at her home on Wednesday.
"Lies, lies, lies, that's all I am hearing," she said. "They should look at Wendy's. Why are we being victimized again and again?"
Ayala acknowledged, however, that her family received a settlement for their medical expenses about a year ago after her daughter, Genesis, got sick from food at an El Pollo restaurant in Las Vegas.
San Jose police have joined the Las Vegas police fraud unit in the investigation into how a 1-1/2 inch-long fingertip ended up in Ayala's bowl of chili at the San Jose Wendy's on March 22. Ayala has sued the franchise owner.
A Wendy's spokesman would not comment on the investigation Friday.
Small market fan... always hoping, but never expecting.
She's dropping the lawsuit...
Woman who claimed to find finger in chili won't sue Wendy's
Wednesday, April 13, 2005 Posted: 6:47 AM EDT (1047 GMT)
SAN JOSE, California (AP) -- A woman who claimed she scooped up a human finger along with her chili at a Wendy's restaurant has decided not to sue the fast-food chain.
Anna Ayala dropped her claim because it "has caused her great emotional distress and continues to be difficult emotionally," said her attorney, Jeffrey Janoff.
Ayala, 39, claimed she found the 11/2-inch long fingertip on March 22 while dining at a Wendy's restaurant in San Jose. She later filed a claim with the franchise owner, Fresno-based JEM Management Corp., which her attorney had said was the first step before filing a lawsuit.
Phone calls to Ayala's house went unanswered Tuesday. Investigators searched her Las Vegas home last week as part of their investigation into how a finger ended up in the chili.
Wendy's spokesman Denny Lynch declined to comment on Ayala's decision to drop the lawsuit but said a reward hot line to receive tips will remain open. Wendy's has offered $50,000 to the first person who can provide verifiable information that identifies the origin of the finger.
"It's very important to us to find out what really happened at the restaurant," Lynch said. "We will continue to fully cooperate with the police investigation."
Wendy's maintains the finger did not enter the food chain in its ingredients. None of the employees at the San Jose store had lost any fingers, and no suppliers of Wendy's ingredients reported any hand or finger injuries, the company said.
The Santa Clara County coroner's office used a partial fingerprint to search for a match in an electronic database but came up empty. DNA testing is still being conducted on the finger.
Reminds me of the Ving Rhames character in 'Striptease' who was trying to put cockroaches in his yogurt so he could sue the manufacturer.
wouldn't it be gross if wendy's chili was made of meat taken from medical waste?
New twist on finger found in chili
Officials doubt link between Wendy's discovery, leopard attack
LAS VEGAS, Nevada (AP) -- Authorities investigating the origin of a finger found in a California bowl of fast-food chili said Thursday they have uncovered no link to a Nevada leopard attack that cost a woman part of her index finger.
Nye County Sheriff Tony DeMeo said the chance of any connection is "diminishing." San Jose, California, Police Sgt. Nick Nuyo said investigators there were also skeptical.
Sandy Allman, 59, lost a 3/4-inch fingertip February 23 in the attack by a spotted leopard being kept at her home in rural Pahrump, about 60 miles west of Las Vegas.
Las Vegas resident Anna Ayala claimed she found a 1 1/2-inch fingertip on March 22 while eating at a Wendy's in San Jose.
"Obviously, if we have more of a finger than she lost, you might look at that on face value and say it's probably not the same," Nuyo said Thursday.
A lawyer for Allman had said that she wanted to participate in any DNA testing of the found finger. She said she last saw her fingertip packed in ice in a Las Vegas emergency room. Doctors told her it could not be reattached, and she does not know what happened to it after that, lawyer Philip Sheldon said.
The hospital said it cannot account for the missing fingertip.
Ayala was visiting relatives in San Jose and could not be reached for comment. Her attorney, Jeffrey Janoff, said Wednesday that she had decided not to pursue a lawsuit over the found finger because scrutiny by police and reporters had been "very difficult for her emotionally."
Court records show Ayala has previously made claims against corporations, including a former employer, General Motors and a fast-food restaurant.
Wendy's maintains the finger did not enter the food in its ingredients. It has offered a $50,000 reward in the case and was keeping open a hot line for tips, spokesman Denny Lynch said.
And the winner of the 2005 Seigfried & Roy Imagine-That Award is...Sandy Allman, 59, lost a 3/4-inch fingertip February 23 in the attack by a spotted leopard being kept at her home in rural Pahrump...
Small market fan... always hoping, but never expecting.
I guess that beats winning a Darwin Award if the cat had finished the job.Originally Posted by RedFanAlways1966
Guess who got arrested last night by Las Vegas police?!?!
Guess she won't be filing any lawsuits against Wendy's while she is behind bars.
LAS VEGAS Apr 22, 2005 — The woman who claimed she found a finger in her bowl of Wendy's chili last month has been arrested, the latest twist in a bizarre case about how the 1 1/2-inch finger tip ended up in a bowl of fast food.
Anna Ayala was taken into custody late Thursday at her Las Vegas home, police said.
Authorities would not provide details until a news conference Friday in San Jose, Calif. the city where Ayala claimed she bit down on the finger in a mouthful of her steamy stew.
Ayala's 18-year-old son, Guadalupe Reyes, said he had gone to the store around 9 p.m. when he got a phone call from a friend who was back at the Las Vegas home.
"We rushed back and she was already gone," Reyes said.
Reyes said he had no other details and was waiting to hear from his mother.
Ohio-based Wendy's International Inc. did not immediately return a call Friday.
Ayala's claim that she found the finger tip, complete with a well-manicured nail, on March 22 initially drew sympathy. But when police and health officials failed to find any missing digits among the workers involved in the restaurant's supply chain, suspicion fell on Ayala, and her story has become a late-night punch line.
Ayala hired a lawyer and filed a claim against the Wendy's franchise owner, Fresno-based JEM Management. But after police searched her home in Las Vegas and continued to question her family, she dropped the lawsuit threat, saying the whole situation was just too stressful.
"Lies, lies, lies, that's all I am hearing," Ayala said after police started questioning her. "They should look at Wendy's. What are they hiding? Why are we being victimized again and again?"
As it turns out, Ayala has a litigious history. She has filed claims against several corporations, including a former employer and General Motors, though it is unclear from court records whether she received any money. She said she got $30,000 from El Pollo Loco after her 13-year-old daughter got sick at one of the chain's Las Vegas-area restaurants. El Pollo Loco officials say she did not get a dime.
Last edited by RedFanAlways1966; 04-22-2005 at 07:44 AM.
Small market fan... always hoping, but never expecting.
CSI: Wendy's Restaurants
Peter DaSilva for The New York Times
By MATT RICHTEL and ALEXEI BARRIONUEVO
Published: April 22, 2005
SAN JOSE, Calif., April 20 - Denny Lynch sat at a booth at a Wendy's restaurant, finishing bites of a chicken sandwich between cellphone calls. Mr. Lynch, a Wendy's executive, was one of only a few lunchtime patrons at the normally buzzing restaurant, where lately business is off by half.
That's because, in the same booth where Mr. Lynch sat, a patron claimed on March 22 that she dipped into her cup of beef chili and found part of a human finger.
Since then, Mr. Lynch, Wendy's senior vice president for communications, and the rest of Wendy's executive team have been on a ceaseless treadmill trying to manage a public relations crisis that has consumed and frustrated the company.
Mr. Lynch still does not know whose finger it was or where it came from. But some of the many questions surrounding the incident may be resolved once the police receive the results of lab tests, possibly as early as Friday.
Unless investigators solve the mystery, the case threatens to put Wendy's in the same unenviable category as Tylenol and Jack in the Box, two other brand names that were tainted by gruesome discoveries that set off a national panic.
The troubles began for Mr. Lynch when the phone rang just after 11:30 p.m. on March 22. He had been sleeping at home in Dublin, Ohio, where Wendy's has its headquarters. The caller was Bob Bertini, the chain's media relations manager, explaining that Anna Ayala, a Las Vegas resident visiting family in San Jose, had bitten down on the finger in a spoonful of Wendy's chili.
For the 52-year-old Mr. Lynch, there was no time to prepare a sophisticated plan of action. The news media, he was informed, knew about the gruesome discovery, and wanted a statement. He did not wake John T. Schuessler, Wendy's chairman and chief executive, that night, but sent him e-mail messages explaining the news and the steps he had taken.
Over the next month, Mr. Lynch's job became part "CSI: Wendy's," part public relations nightmare.
A management team from Sacramento, Wendy's regional base, converted the office of the Wendy's franchisee, JEM Management, based in Fresno, into a makeshift crisis control room. The local police department was already involved; the coroner's office was brought in six days later.
Most of all, Mr. Lynch spent countless hours briefing the news media. "It went nonstop the next two or three days," Mr. Lynch said, "even through the weekend. Even when the pope passed away, it still got coverage."
He managed to squeeze in an early-April golf trip, but he said he spent most of it on the phone with the crisis team in San Jose.
So far, Wendy's restaurants in Northern California have lost 20 percent to 50 percent of their business. With every passing day that the mystery of the finger goes unsolved, Mr. Lynch and Wendy's executives face eroding confidence in their business. "We need closure," Mr. Lynch said. "Until then, there is lingering doubt."
Investigations so far have failed to turn up much about the finger. What is known is that the tissue is most of a fingertip and is now in two pieces. Put together, the total length is one and a half inches, and the finger is preserved enough to draw a sample of DNA and fingerprints. It is suspected to be from a woman because of its long, manicured nail.
But investigators still do not know whether the finger came from a dead or live person. They do not know if the finger's DNA has a match in any existing database. A search for the fingerprint in the F.B.I.'s database of about 50 million prints came up negative.More important for Wendy's, it is still not known whether the finger was cooked, and if so, for how long. A thoroughly cooked finger might indicate that it came through Wendy's food supply chain. If the tissue is uncooked, that might indicate that it was added to the chili after the fact.
Questions have also been raised about Ms. Ayala. The Associated Press has reported that Ms. Ayala has had a litigious history that included a settlement for medical expenses for her daughter, who claimed she became sick at an El Pollo Loco restaurant in Las Vegas.
The uncertainty has meant that the company, which has 6,600 locations in the United States, must cope with a damaged reputation worsened by the breadth and speed of media coverage around the world.
The fingertip has not just set off a scare, but has also become the butt of late-night television jokes. It is discussed in California with the familiarity and interest of the breakup of the actors Jennifer Aniston and Brad Pitt.
Wendy's has offered a $100,000 reward and has a team of private investigators running a tip line 10 hours a day. Still nothing.
The Wendy's story has included everything from a patron with a suspicious history of suing companies to an animal trainer who sought national attention to talk about the finger she partly lost training a leopard.
That has made the case seem more like a circus sideshow than the deadly food threats of the past, like the one in 1993 when four people died and hundreds of others became sick from eating Jack in the Box hamburgers tainted by E. coli bacteria. Nor is the case as threatening as the situation Johnson & Johnson's Tylenol brand faced in 1982 when seven people died in the Chicago area from cyanide-laced capsules.
Wendy's patrons are more repulsed than afraid of dying. "It's nasty," said Victoria Reyes, 17, a senior at a nearby high school who was walking near the Wendy's on Wednesday. She said she ate regularly at Wendy's, but had moved the chain off her diet plan.
This is not the first time Mr. Lynch has managed a crisis in his 25 years at Wendy's. He was on the front lines in May 2000 when robbers shot and killed five workers at a Wendy's in Queens.
That experience still did not prepare him for the uncertainty from the mystery finger. Aside from a decline in business, Wendy's has had to weather some 20 copycats around the country who claimed to have found everything from fingernails to a chicken bone in their Wendy's food.
To quell the problems and try to rebuild the company's reputation, Wendy's decided to offer free milkshakes this weekend in 48 Bay Area stores as a sign of customer appreciation. Mr. Lynch flew to San Jose on Tuesday to help coordinate the effort. The company has also decided to send coupons to residents in the area around the restaurant. Next month, Wendy's will introduce a new premium deli sandwich, also in the Bay Area.
"We need to get customers thinking about Wendy's again," Mr. Lynch said. "They've been taken out of that mind-set."
That could be difficult, considering the media saturation surrounding the finger mystery. That first night, when Mr. Lynch was awakened, local television stations were already running with the report.
The next day, as the finger became fodder for morning talk-radio shows, Wendy's started an investigation. Workers at the restaurant were interviewed and later passed lie detector tests. Wendy's began tracing back the ingredients from the chili to its suppliers. The ingredients all come from a central distribution center, Mr. Lynch said, that can trace the ingredients' suppliers by product code.
The company concluded it would have been highly unlikely for an employee to overlook a finger, given the way the chili is made. A worker chops ground beef into small chunks with a spatula - using the same two- and four-ounce patties used for hamburgers - adds kidney beans and small beans from cans, seasoning from a packet, and tomatoes. A 48-serving batch is mixed into a 22-quart pot and cooked for four to six hours, stirred every 15 minutes.
Mr. Lynch said the process required such close interaction with the food that it was unlikely that a foreign object, like a finger, would go unnoticed. "Can it happen? Yeah," he said. "But it's very unlikely."
Similarly, Mr. Lynch said it was highly unlikely that a finger part of more than one inch made its way through the mechanized process at meatpacking plants to turn raw meat into ground beef.
Around midmorning that first Wednesday, the Santa Clara County Department of Health inspected the Wendy's at Monterey Road, giving it a clean bill of health. Then in the afternoon, Wendy's got its first bad break. Santa Clara health officials said there was no public health risk. But they released a photo of the finger to the news media.
"It is a gruesome image," Mr. Lynch said. "And it spread across the country in no time."
That Thursday, March 24, Wendy's reported the findings of its internal inquiry. No restaurant employees had suffered a hand injury. Follow-up with suppliers of the chili ingredients revealed the same. Wendy's insisted it had found nothing to support allegations that it or its supply chain was the source of the finger.
Mr. Lynch then learned another heartening piece of news: the employee who prepared the chili is a 10-year veteran of the San Jose restaurant. "That helped a little," he said.
That night, however, the "Tonight" show host, Jay Leno, began the first of several nights of jokes about the incident. Among the most painful: a dig at the beloved Wendy's founder, Dave Thomas. "I didn't know Wendy's sold finger food," Mr. Leno quipped. "I guess we know what Wendy's did with their founder, Dave Thomas."
Three days later, on Sunday, Mr. Lynch returned a call from an ABC producer at 6 p.m., who told him that Ms. Ayala would appear on "Good Morning America" the next morning with a lawyer. "Does Wendy's want to say anything, or send someone to New York?" the producer asked.
"Can you wait 24 hours?" he replied. The producer said no. Mr. Lynch spent three hours preparing a statement, which was read almost in its entirety the next morning.
That Monday, Ms. Ayala appeared with her lawyer, who claimed that the chili incident was a clear case of product liability. Ms. Ayala, visibly emotional, told of her disgust at nearly swallowing the finger. "Suddenly I chew something that's kind of hard, crunchy," Ms. Ayala said on "Good Morning America." "I spit it out."
Now the story was everywhere.
Later that day, the Santa Clara County coroner's office began an investigation. The finger was shipped in a Wendy's container to a lab.
A week later, Wendy's posted a $50,000 reward for information leading to the identification of the finger. A toll-free number was set up: (800) 821-3348. That day, police detectives searched the Las Vegas home of Ms. Ayala. They do not say what they found, if anything.
Then, on April 13, the San Jose police investigated the case of a woman who lost part of her finger in a leopard attack. The woman, who has several exotic animals, lives near Las Vegas. Later, after the woman appeared on "Good Morning America," police said they could not connect her to the Wendy's case because the fingerprints did not match. That same day, however, Ms. Ayala told reporters that she was no longer pursuing a lawsuit against Wendy's, and her lawyer confirmed that he was no longer representing her.
In an interview on Wednesday, Sgt. Nick Muyo of the San Jose police said that the police are calling Ms. Ayala a witness, not a suspect. "We've maintained all along she is not the focus of this case," he said. "It's possible we may not find out where the finger came from."
That possibility scares Wendy's more than anything. "We can't put this behind us until we get a third party to exonerate us, if that's possible," Mr. Lynch said. "And it may never be possible. That is the worst-case scenario. It is worse than if you made a mistake and own up to it."
Some outside crisis management consultants questioned whether Wendy's reacted with enough empathy toward Ms. Ayala in the first few days after the finger was reported found. "Wendy's has not been empathetic enough," said Mike Paul, president of MGP & Associates PR, a crisis management firm in New York.
Mr. Lynch said that Wendy's officials made attempts to contact Ms. Ayala, "but were unable to do so." And within days she had retained a lawyer, he said.
Last Friday, Wendy's doubled its reward to $100,000 and began running local ads announcing the reward. Thomas J. Mueller, Wendy's president, reiterated in a company statement that there is "no credible evidence that Wendy's is the source of the foreign object."
Matt Richtel reported from San Jose, Calif., for this article and Alexei Barrionuevo from New York.
Pay attention to the open sky
I wonder who fingered her?
The Rally Onion wants 150 fans before Opening Day.