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San Antonio Woman Sues Popeyes After Ingesting a Screwworm

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San Antonio resident Karen Goode filed a lawsuit against Popeyes Louisiana Kitchen, claiming that the rice she ate at the fast food restaurant two years ago infected her with screwworms. MySA.com says Goode claims that the worms are “eating her alive from the inside-out.”

According to Medical Daily, a screwworm will bury into a creature’s flesh and lay eggs lay eggs inside the wound. They were once extinct in the United States, but they’ve returned in Florida.

The fast food chain says Goode’s claim of a screwworm infection is untrue. The Washington Post writes, “Popeyes said in a statement it was aware of Goode’s claims and that the franchisee has been working with her for more than a year to ‘to address her concerns,’ even though her claims are claims ‘unfounded and false.'”

The Washington Post added that an entomologist at Purdue University, Gwen Pearson, says that Goode’s story isn’t at all possible. Pearson states that screwworms can’t live in plant tissues (like rice), especially after it’s been cooked. Also, if a screwworm was somehow ingested, it would die in one’s stomach acid. The insects also need oxygen to live, so Goode’s long-term illnesses due to the specific cause of a screwworm are very improbable.