Most of us have heard stories on social media about what some of our favorite foods are “actually” made of (remember the plastic rice scare?). Well, this latest scare may one of the ickiest we’ve ever heard and it might put you off eating bakso for good.
One particular Facebook post spread like a terrible rat infestation recently. It purportedly shows a bakso meatball, which was bought from a kaki lima seller in Setiabudi, South Jakarta, containing something other than beef.
The image shows the bakso split in half with a reddish, uncooked center, and, shockingly, a small black mystery ingredient that appears to be rat claws.
As is often the case with food scare stories on social media, the rat claw bakso claim has not been verified in any scientific way.
Be that as it may, authorities say they are investigating the claims made on social media. The Setiabudi Police, with the help of the Jakarta Agricultural Agency, have confiscated bakso samples from the producers and taken them to a lab to see if they are indeed made of rat meat.
The lab tests are still ongoing, but the police say they didn’t find anything suspicious when they searched the bakso producers.
“We have searched [the producers] but we didn’t find any bakso mixed [with rat meat],” said Setiabudi Police Chief Grand Commissioner Tri Yulianto, as quoted by Tempo yesterday.
Detik managed to locate the bakso producer, identified as Maryono, who refuted the rat meat claims and said that he has always used beef to make his product.
“I want to know, who spread these rumors? I have never used rat meat. In the photo, they said that there were rat claws. That’s not true, it was actually part of a cow’s lip. Since we grind the meat by hand, sometimes it’s not as fine as we hope,” Maryono told Detik.
We fail to see how a cow’s lip could resemble rat claws. So until we hear the official results of the lab tests, we’re going to hold off our judgment (but we’re probably going to hold off on eating any suspicious bakso for a while too).