Well, this is unsettling.
Grace Bonjean just wanted to have a nice hot cup of joe at her home in Fredonia on Tuesday. But when she opened the brand new can of Great Value Classic Decaf ground coffee she’d bought a few days earlier at the Saukville Walmart Supercenter, she discovered the tinfoil cover had already been torn back and there was, um, a partially cracked egg sitting in there.
So, yeah. That’s definitely not supposed to happen! You can have eggs with your coffee but not eggs in your coffee! (Well, actually, egg coffee is apparently a real Vietnamese drink thing consisting of egg yolks, sugar, condensed milk and Robusta coffee, but guessing that's not what was going on here.)
Anyway, after getting over her initial, understandable reaction – which she says was "Oh my God! What the heck? What in the world?" – Bonjean showed the can with mystery egg to her husband Rod, who was equally dismayed and suspected possible food tampering. Bonjean posted the distressing story to Facebook and then contacted a few local news outlets, including this one, mentioning that "I think there is still something in that shell, like a bird or something." Weird!
We called her Friday to get some more information.
Bonjean said there were coffee grounds in the egg and egg in the coffee grounds, and it was just a whole, big, gross mess. "All I know is I’m glad it wasn’t at the bottom of the can. What if I was a really old lady? It could have been fatal," she says of the shock.
There was a 1-800 number on the can – next to the expiration date, which she says showed February, 2017 – and that day she talked to a Walmart customer service representative in Arkansas. She says the woman with whom she spoke seemed unalarmed, or at least not surprised. "It didn’t even faze her," Bonjean says, noting on Facebook that "apparently this must have happened before." Later, she spoke with another representative, this time from Louisiana, who instructed her to pack the can in a UPS box the company would send her and then ship it back so Walmart could examine it.
"I told her this had to be done on purpose cause a chicken or any other kind of fowl just don't look for coffee cans to lay their eggs in," Bonjean wrote on Facebook. She says she was told she would receive a refund.
Walmart started selling affordable organic food a couple years ago – and it was good big news – but presumably the retail giant did not intend to be selling that organic food inside the containers of other products.
On Friday, we contacted the Saukville Walmart, but the store declined comment ("We can’t comment on anything"), and then talked to a Walmart national spokesperson. He said Bonjean "did exactly what she was supposed to do" by calling the company and sending the can back but would not speculate on whether the problem might have been with Walmart or the third-party manufacturer, Great Value. "If it was manufactured by someone separate than Walmart, what can we say?" he said.
OK, sure. And had the coffee can been sealed, the blame may indeed be on the manufacturer. But, according to Bonjean, the inside tinfoil cover had already been ripped and pulled up when she opened the lid. She wonders whether it might have been a disgruntled employee or some sort of "sabotage."
On Facebook, a friend of Bonjean’s shared a similarly disturbing tale in a comment. "I bought some Walmart breakfast pork sausage once. It had worms in it. They crawled around as I was frying it. They didn't even care. Disgusting," she wrote. The company didn't care, that is; the worms no doubt cared a great deal about being fried.
Bonjean says she’s not going to buy food at the controversial mega-corporation anymore ("I can still buy clothes there," she assures). Of course, you can't make a $200 billion omelette without breaking a few eggs and then, one supposes, putting them in cans of decaf. But if Bonjean's looking for a new coffee purveyor, there are plenty of great local choices, including Anodyne, Colectivo, Stone Creek and Valentine. Or if you want to literally put all your eggs in one basket, there's always Aldi for everything. All right, no more bad egg quips (haha, bad egg). Sorry.
But yeah, so maybe we don't buy our coffee at Walmart anymore, OK you guys?
Born in Milwaukee but a product of Shorewood High School (go ‘Hounds!) and Northwestern University (go ‘Cats!), Jimmy never knew the schoolboy bliss of cheering for a winning football, basketball or baseball team. So he ditched being a fan in order to cover sports professionally - occasionally objectively, always passionately. He's lived in Chicago, New York and Dallas, but now resides again in his beloved Brew City and is an ardent attacker of the notorious Milwaukee Inferiority Complex.
After interning at print publications like Birds and Blooms (official motto: "America's #1 backyard birding and gardening magazine!"), Sports Illustrated (unofficial motto: "Subscribe and save up to 90% off the cover price!") and The Dallas Morning News (a newspaper!), Jimmy worked for web outlets like CBSSports.com, where he was a Packers beat reporter, and FOX Sports Wisconsin, where he managed digital content. He's a proponent and frequent user of em dashes, parenthetical asides, descriptive appositives and, really, anything that makes his sentences longer and more needlessly complex.
Jimmy appreciates references to late '90s Brewers and Bucks players and is the curator of the unofficial John Jaha Hall of Fame. He also enjoys running, biking and soccer, but isn't too annoying about them. He writes about sports - both mainstream and unconventional - and non-sports, including history, music, food, art and even golf (just kidding!), and welcomes reader suggestions for off-the-beaten-path story ideas.