Chili finger may have been raw

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Was the finger raw or cooked?

Sunday, March 27, 2005

Investigators are no longer certain if the finger found in a bowl of Wendy's chili at a San Jose, California outlet last week was cooked or raw.

"We're still going to have to sit down with our crime lab experts and see if there's a test that can determine that," said Sheriff's Office Captain Bob Dixon.

Dr. Martin Fenstersheib, Santa Clara County's health officer, told the San Francisco Chronicle, "The possibilities are still all out there on where and when it came into the chili."

Investigators are working with the U.S. Food and Drug Administration to track down the suppliers of the ingredients used to make the chili, which included beef, beans, celery, onions, and green peppers.

Denny Lynch, a Wendy's spokesman, admitted that the Wendy's location at 1405 Monterey Highway had no security cameras, so they were unable to determine from video if an employee had been involved with the incident.

Anna Ayala, the 39-year-old woman who found the finger, has returned to Las Vegas.

"I don't want to talk about it," she said. Ayala refused to say whether or not she had plans to sue Wendy's over the incident. "At this time, I don't know. At this time, I want to be left alone," said Ayala.

Dr. Fenstersheib said that even if the finger was still raw when Ayala bit into it, the risk was low that she would have become infected with anything. However, he advised that Ayala should undergo a series of precautionary follow-up tests.