Critter in the Cake

DON’T WATCH THIS if you are eating food. Don’t watch this if you have a phobia about bugs. I mean if you are in the mood to hate watch something then, fine, hate watch me but I am warning you that this is by far the worst story that I have to tell in this series. This memory comes from one of the lowest points in my career, at a job that was shamefully bad in an infuriating, thrilling horror movie kind of way. Well I survived. And as it turns out, I’m not the only one who made it out alive either.

VIDEO: Critter in the Cake

This is part four in a four part food safety storytelling series, all involving incidents from my food industry career that involve finding things in the food which didn’t belong in the food.

Link to Part 1: Hair in Food
Link to Part 2: Glass in Pasta + Hairnet Fashion Show
Link to Part 3: Drugs in the Cake

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Cockroach in the Cake Story


Comments

Critter in the Cake — 18 Comments

  1. I find stuff in my food all the time. Hair, corner of a plastic bag, a metal shaving. I don’t get too bothered by it. One time I found some things in my fish. I asked my dad what it was. He said that they were worms. He told me that they are protein and to eat it. So I did! And I haven’t eaten sole fish since.

    I love your bug story! Got to share that one.

  2. My husband and I went to a Chinese restaurant to eat and brought home the leftovers. The next day my son was hungry so I told him that there were leftovers in the fridge. He warmed them and started eating. All of a sudden he pointed out to something that did not look like food. At a closer look it was a very well done maggot with all its little legs.

  3. My hubby and our friends went out to a pizza restaurant many years ago. After waiting for ages, our pizza was delivered to the hot to table on the tray. We all reached over to get a slice when my best friend noticed a spider cooked on top of the pizza! And she is terrified of spiders.
    We called the waiter over to point it out and ask for a new pizza. They sort of reluctantly agreed but were very busy. As he picked up the tray in his haste, he actually banged it into the side of my head! Needless to say, we never went back.

  4. I wish I could actually tell the story of these two bakeries, because unless you’ve worked in a bakery that’s been around for years and years, you won’t believe it, non of friends and family did lol. The worst part of it is, this is the bakery that my family always bought all of our cakes from when I was growing up, and we loved them. I just want to puke thinking about it.

    To make a long story short I’ll just jump to the baking pans. It seemed like they had a million of them, a million of seriously dented and squashed pieces of tin that had never seen the likes of soap ever. Not never. The cakes came out the most lopsided, and broken I’ve ever seen. Plus they had to be dirty because, well, those pans!

    It was summer during my short tenure at this bakery, so it was was HOT in there because of course they had no air conditioning. They use to keep the side door open, mind you this place is smack dab on the corner of a busy city block with a lot of foot and car traffic. imagine all the car exhaust wafting throughout this joint that felt like 500 degrees.

    Soooo, with the door open and inviting to every thing that crawls, I guess the place had a hefty amount population of rodents (rats, I never saw one) because there was a neighborhood cat that made the bakery it’s home, and no one seemed to mind that he was there. This cat would jump on the table where food was being prepared and just hang out on the end of the table while they were working with the food. Never once did I see anyone shoo him away. I love animals, but he was grimmy. They let an alley cat sit on the tables where people’s food was! No toilet paper or soap to wash your hands in the bathroom, nats looming around the toilet and work benches. The place was just beyond disgusting.

    The 4th bakery pretty much the same as the other, accept this one I saw the rats and roaches. They stored the chocolate plaques and fondant/gum paste decorations in a stainless steel work bench with drawers and a sheet pan rack with a door on it. Every morning was a real treat (for me because no one else was moved) opening the door to those racks to see roaches scattering and running all over the decoration. If you could have seen the smirks and head shakes at my reaction every morning, like I was being ridiculous or something. What???

    One day I hear the baker and another decorator snickering and whispering behind me. I turned around to see what was going on and they were looking under their work bench, so I ask what is it and they’re just laughing. I asked what is it a mouse or something and they’re like yeah. I screamed and jumped on top of a fondant bucket, they thought that was hilarious and told me I was just being to extra. Really? What the…

    Last thing about this place. They also kept the door open to cool off the oven, I mean kitchen. They had an over abundance of bees that hung out around the back door, so of course they would come into the kitchen. If you could have seen me, because again, no one but me was bothered, trying to decorate a cake while ducking and diving these freaking bees.

    One day the other decorator did a cute 10″ leopard print cake (she was so proud of that cake). I left for the day before she finished it. I asked her the next day how the customer liked the cake and she got this look. She said they were happy with how it looked, but that they brought it back because a bee had lodged itself between the cake and the cake board LOL!!! All I could say was, “WHAAAA” LOL!!! Oh yeah, and they never washed anything either. They did a lot of decorated cookies with cutters that were never touched by water. I dropped one on the floor and when I went to wash it one of the girls said, what are going to to do wash it? Ummm, yeah! She looked at me and shook here head, again I was being ridiculous. I could go on and on, but I’ll stop now.

  5. You warned me not to watch it but I couldn’t help myself. I may need therapy now. That was the most disgusting story I’ve ever heard regarding food. On a much more pleasant note, you have developed some awesome string skills! Congrats on learning to play the guitar. You are doing very well!

  6. I try so hard to not be THAT place. Our shop is located near water which adds to the likelihood of something close to hat happening. When we opened up shop it was cold out. Warm weather is coming so we are tightening up on everything to make sure the bugs stay outside. This just makes me itch!!!

  7. I was finishing a farewell cake for a friend. My neighbor stops in, and visits for a bit, leaning in over the freshly buttercream iced cake and commenting about it. The cake was over on a counter away from any “traffic”. We had coffee and chatted for a while. As she is leaving she stops once more to admire the cake, leaning and hovering, to take in all the glory. Some time goes by, I clean up coffee cups and am ready to box the cake. I move the cake to put it in the box and notice that there was something “dimensional” and “whispy” going on with the cake. I peer closer and see that the cake looked as if it was moving. The cake was moving because there were short white and orange hairs in my cake, all over the cake coming to life by my ceiling fan. This hair was definitely fur that belonged to a cat. I didn’t own a cat. Ding, ding, ding, that neighbor did! She had leaned and hovered over the cake in a sweatshirt that had cat hair all over it. Needless to say, I rebaked that cake. It was a sleepless night. I learned at that moment that any cakes I had, at any stage, went into my fridge when there was a knock at my door.

  8. ewww! I worked at a bakery and they shared a facility with another group. Needless to say, my boss was NOT happy under the circumstances and just like they did for you they came out when they pleased. My boss one morning had baked a half sheet of guava pastries. He always wrapped his items in Saran Wrap because his “Amigos” always wanted to visit. He saw one squeeze his way in through the wrap. My boss knew he had to throw it away but he wanted the enjoyment of finding his friend and ending its daring life. He began to open each pastelillo, but he was never able to end its life.

  9. I sure hope they aren’t in business any more. What state are they in? LOL.

    I think this story tops anything I’ve heard. Yuck!

  10. Ok – I’m totally “groached” out… how disgusting. I have two stories. Back when I was in high school, I found a fingernail clipping inside a brownie – no folks, it wasn’t a peanut, it was a fingernail – so much for enjoying that chocolate morsel! Not to be outdone by such a gross occurrence, my mother and I had a “favorite” Chinese restaurant we frequented often – we swore by their fried rice – well… one day we drove by the alley looking for a parking space when lo and behold, I saw the cook cleaning his fingernails with the knife he was using to cut the beef strips AND he was resting his bare foot on a bowl that was on the floor full of beef swimming in blood – YIKES… no fried rice for me!

  11. Well that’s just nasty. Think of the bugs you didn’t find before delivery – gross! I found live maggots in a pastry once – haven’t eaten that stuff since. Very gross.

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