Bumble Bee Tuna Recall Involves Human Remains Mixed into Tuna-Fiction!
Summary of eRumor:
Bumble Bee Tuna issued a recall in March 2016 because human remains were mixed into a batch of tuna, according to viral reports.
Bumble Bee Tuna issued a product recall in March 2016 — but it had nothing to do with human remains being mixed into a batch of tuna.
That rumor can be traced back to The Rocket Report, a fake news website. A report appearing under the headline“Massive Bumble Bee Recall After 2 Employees Admit Cooking A Man And Mixing Him With A Batch Of Tuna” started false rumors about the Bumble Bee Tuna recall:
AP – On Monday, Bumble Bee Foods and 2 employees were charged by Los Angeles prosecutors with violating safety regulations in the death of a worker who was cooked in an industrial oven with tons of tuna.
José Melena was performing maintenance in a 35 foot long oven at the company’s Santa Fe Springs plant when coworkers loaded it with 12,000 pounds of canned tuna and turned it on.
Temperatures reached 270° during a two-hour process to cook and sterilize the tuna.
The body of Melena,62, was found when the oven was opened.
The company, its plant operations director Angel Rodriguez and former safety manager Saul Florez were each charged with three counts of violating Occupational Safety and Health Administration rules that caused a death.
Within days of being posted, the false report was shared more than 70,000 times on social media sites. Taken at face value, the report sparked a lot of concern among tuna eaters, but The Rocket Report’s disclaimer clearly states that it’s not a trusted news source:
The Racket Report is a news web publication with news articles, inspired by real news events. The articles and stories may or may not use real names, always a semi real and/or mostly, or substantially, fictitious ways. A few articles are for entertainment purposes only. The purpose of said stories is to entertain and amuse and not to disparage any persons, institutions, in anyway and no malice is intended towards anyone or anything, nor should any be construed from the fictional stories. That means some stories on this website are fictitious. Any resemblance to persons, living or dead, is entirely coincidental or is intended purely as a spoof of such person and is not intended to communicate any true or factual information about that person.
The false report about human remains being mixed into Bumble Bee tuna is especially misleading because even though it’s completely false, it’s based on two things that actually happened years apart.
First, Bumble Bee actually issued a voluntary tuna recall in March 2016, at the time time when the false news report went viral. The recall had nothing to do with human remains. Rather, it was due to deviations in the “commercial sterilization process” at a co-pack facility not owned or operated by Bumble Bee. The recall impacted about 32,000 cases of Chunk Light tuna.
Second, Jose Melena was an actual Bumble Bee employee who was killed in a horrific workplace accident. Melena was cooked alive in 12,000 pounds of tuna fish back in 2012. The company said that “major error” resulted in the accidental death, the San Gabriel Valley Tribune reports.
So, the report that Bumble Bee recalled tuna because human remains had been mixed into it are totally false. But the report is especially misleading because it blends together two different, actual events that happened years apart to create a false story.