Last night a little news story crossed my digital path, and I just have to share it with you. Now, before I do, let me just say that either this story is fake news that made its way into the real news stream, or this woman and her lawyers are bags of nuts.
Someone named Karen Goode is suing a San Antonio area Popeye's fast food restaurant because they … well, let me just quote the lawsuit …
“Plaintiff purchased rice and beans from Defendants’ restaurant that contained flesh eating New World Screwworms, and Plaintiff unknowingly ingested the flesh eating screwworms. The flesh eating screwworms entered Plaintiff’s digestive track, laid eggs which embedded in the interior lining of Plaintiff’s small intestine, and when hatched, infested Plaintiff’s body and began to eat Plaintiff alive from the inside-out.”
Okay, let me put on my judge robes and declare that if this lawsuit actually exists, it will be thrown out of court by any judge with any amount of brain cells and the slightest bit of education. Why? Just off the top of my pre-morning-coffee brain, I can give you three solid reasons that this is (in some way or another) bullshit.
Screwworms (fly larva/maggots) do not lay eggs. They are the product of eggs. They lead to flies, who then lay eggs which become screwworms/maggots, and the cycle continues.
Screwworms, like all living things, require oxygen to survive. The digestive system of the human body is not an oxygen rich environment. In fact, one method of removing screwworms that have burrowed into a living creature is to starve them of oxygen and force them to surface.
Screwworms would not survive passing through the stomach and to get to the small intestine. The human digestive system is designed to process proteins, and screwworms/maggots are a rich source of protein. If you ate a screwworm or even a number of screwworms, your digestive system would happily digest them.
Furthermore, while it is possible for a human to be infested with New World Screwworms, it is really, extremely rare. I mean EXTREMELY rare. So while I'm not saying it couldn't happen, I am saying that it didn't happen by way of eating rice and beans at a San Antonio Popeye's. Case closed.
And if you would like more information on the New World Screwworm, you can go look it up yourself. Not only did I learn all about it some 30 years ago when this critter made its first big appearance in the USA, I went and refreshed my knowledge recently when Florida had a little outbreak out in the Keys. I'm not going to dig up the links again, because EEEEEEEWWWWWW. The information will scar you for life!