Circulating social media message warns you not to buy or eat any biscuits called ‘crunches’ because they contain a poisonous chemical that has already killed 45 people in South Africa.
The claims in the warning are utter nonsense and sharing the post will help nobody. There are no credible reports about such poisoned biscuits or of any ‘crunches’ biscuit related deaths in South Africa or elsewhere. The fake warning is just a mutated version of an earlier hoax that falsely claimed that a brand of bottled water called ‘DEW’ contained a poisonous chemical that had killed a number of people.
According to a would-be warning message that is circulating rapidly via social media, you should not buy or eat any biscuits called ‘crunches’ because the product contains a deadly chemical that has already killed 45 people in South Africa. Supposedly, the biscuits have been shipped into Nigeria from South Africa. It urges you to pass on the information, thereby saving millions of lives. The message also suggests that you ‘check google for more details’ if you do not believe the claims.
However, the claims in the message are utter nonsense. No South African killer biscuits have been shipped to Nigeria or anywhere else. And despite the suggestion that you search Google for more information, there are in fact no credible news or police reports about such a contamination, nor is there any information about the supposed South African deaths described in the message.
In fact, the message is just an updated version of earlier hoaxes that named other – supposedly poisonous – products. As the following example shows, the post is clearly derived from a 2011 hoax message that falsely claimed that DEW bottled water was killing people:
Please,don’t buy or drink any bottled water called “DEW”. Customs says it was shipped into Nigeria from Tanzania where it has killed 180 people and now finding its way into south africa. It is said to contain ebola. Please pass this on and save millions. If u don’t believe check google for “DEW bottled water.
And, a more recent version of the hoax warning falsely claimed that it was ‘Bompie’ juice that was killing consumers:
Please don’t buy or drink any plastic frozen juice called ‘Bompie. Customs says it was shipped into Ghana from Nigeria where it has killed 180 people. It is said to contain a poisonous chemical. Please pass this on and save millions. If u don’t believe check google for “Bompie frozen juice” Save lives as I just saved yours.
It seems that, from time to time, some heinous prankster decides to create a new version of the hoax that warns about some other product and launches it anew.
If these contaminated products were really killing large numbers of people, news outlets and health organisations around the world would have published information about them. And, of course, the poisonous products would have been long since recalled and removed from store shelves.
Spreading these absurd warnings serves only to spread fear and alarm in communities. If you receive one of these hoax messages, do not share it and let the person who posted it know that the claims are untrue.