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Late news this morning that Anna Ayala, the woman who said that she found a finger in her bowl of Wendy’s chili, has been arrested in Las Vegas. However, as of this posting there are no further details about the facts leading to her arrest.

There have been questions raised about Ayala’s intentions, and she in fact did hire an attorney and file a lawsuit against the Wendy’s franchise owner – though she withdrew the suit because she said it would create too much emotional distress.

Ironically, the New York Times reports this morning on Wendy’s continuing problems linked to the case. The story has become a public relations nightmare. At this point, nobody seems to know who the finger used to belong to, nor where it came from, nor how it got into the chili – though some of these questions may be resolved when forensics tests are completed. (Hence the story’s priceless headline: “CSI: Wendy’s.”)

“Unless investigators solve the mystery, the case threatens to put Wendy's in the same unenviable category as Tylenol and Jack in the Box, two other brand names that were tainted by gruesome discoveries that set off a national panic,” the NYT reports.

Of course, not only is the finger in the news almost daily, but it also is the subject of jokes on the late night talk shows. One line, from Tonight Show” host Jay Leno: “Now we know what they did with Dave Thomas…”

“Investigations so far have failed to turn up much about the finger,” the Times writes. “What is known is that the tissue is most of a fingertip and is now in two pieces. Put together, the total length is one and a half inches, and the finger is preserved enough to draw a sample of DNA and fingerprints. It is suspected to be from a woman because of its long, manicured nail.

“But investigators still do not know whether the finger came from a dead or live person. They do not know if the finger's DNA has a match in any existing database. A search for the fingerprint in the FBI's database of about 50 million prints came up negative. More important for Wendy's, it is still not known whether the finger was cooked, and if so, for how long. A thoroughly cooked finger might indicate that it came through Wendy's food supply chain. If the tissue is uncooked, that might indicate that it was added to the chili after the fact.”
KC's View:
We’re an enormous fan of the “CSI” shows, especially the Las Vegas version…but this is almost too much information. (You know that this plotline is going to find its way into one of these shows next season…)

Still, we could help sharing it. After all, if we were going to read about partially cooked finger tissue while we drank our morning coffee, we wanted to make sure you enjoyed the same experience.