http://www.billingsgazette.com/inde...dnews/2005/03/25/build/nation/88-finger_v.inc March 25, 2005 Woman finds human finger in Wendy's chili Knight Ridder News SAN JOSE, Calif. - Wendy's chili is not made out of people - well, it is, but just a little bit. Santa Clara County health officials confirmed Wednesday that the thing a woman bit on when enjoying her chili at a Monterey Highway Wendy's was, in fact, a human finger. They're not sure whose. It was about an inch-and-a-half, with a longish, nicely groomed nail. And while it gave the woman - Anna Ayala, 39, of Las Vegas - a bad case of the willies, it likely caused no physical illness, officials said. That's because the finger was safely cooked, simmering along at 170 degrees with more traditional chili ingredients, such as tomatoes, beef and beans. At about 7:20 p.m. Tuesday, Ayala, in town with her family to drop off her in-laws who live in San Jose, scooped up a mouthful of chili. It was her first visit to a Wendy's. "I'm more of a Carl's Jr. person,'' she said Thursday night. "Suddenly something crunchy was in my mouth,'' she said, "and I spit it out.'' After much examination, she and her tablemates realized just what the special ingredient was. Then the vomiting commenced. Police and county health officials were called to the Wendy's, but no one there was missing any digits. video extra video link "We had everyone kind of show us they had 10 fingers, and everything was OK there,'' said Ben Gale, director of the county's Department of Environmental Health. In confirming it was a finger, the county medical examiner also found that it wasn't badly decomposed and had a solid set of fingerprints. Conceivably, officials said, police could lift a print and perhaps match it to a partially fingered person through a database. Then ask, what happened? For now, officials figure - since it was a jagged cut - it may have happened on a meat grinder. In any case, the county shut the Wendy's for a while and impounded all the remaining chili and all the ingredients used to make it, which is whipped up on site. They hope to track all the fixings to try to find the source of the finger. It is, of course, possible it was planted by someone who wants to cash-in on a gross-out civil suit. "That's certainly plausible,'' said Medical Examiner Joseph O'Hara, "but then where would she have gotten the finger?'' All involved say they've never experienced anything like it. And Wendy's spokesman Bob Bertini said never in the fast-food chain's 35 years has a body part showed up in the food. Wendy's founder Dave Thomas always used to say, "Quality is our recipe.'' Maybe so, but they might want to rejigger the chili recipe.