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False Rumour - Patron at Cosmo Romford Finds Dog Microchip Wedged in Tooth

Message circulating via Facebook claims that a diner at the Cosmo Romford restaurant found a dog microchip stuck in her tooth after eating a curry at the restaurant.

© Patryk Kosmider

Brief Analysis
The claims in the message are false. There are no credible news or health department reports about such an incident and the restaurant is not being investigated as claimed. The very same story, attached to various other Asian eateries, has circulated for several years. And, back in 2009, Cosmo was the victim of a similar and equally untrue smear campaign that claimed that the restaurant had served dog meat.  Passing on these heinous rumours unfairly damages the reputations of businesses that have done nothing wrong.

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Detailed Analysis

According to a message currently circulating rapidly via Facebook and other social media posts, the Cosmo restaurant in Romford UK is being investigated by health authorities because it is suspected of serving dog meat. The message claims that a patron got something stuck in her tooth while eating a curry at the restaurant. Later, claims the tale, her dentist discovered that the object stuck in her tooth was in fact a pet dog's microchip. The message suggests that the restaurant's owner is being tracked down and that the restaurant may soon be closed.

However, the claims in the message are heinous lies. There are no credible reports of any kind that support the claims in the message. The restaurant is not being investigated pending possible closure as claimed.

In fact, the same false story has circulated in various formats for several years. In 2011, the dog microchip story targeted an entirely different restaurant in Yorkshire. A June, 2011 Yorkshire Post article noted:
The boss of a Chinese restaurant fears false rumours that a dog’s microchip had been found wedged in a customer’s teeth could mean the end of his business..

Wai Wing Lee, manager of Eastern Court Cantonese Restaurant in Glasshoughton, said hundreds of diners have been driven away.

The vicious rumours – spread on social networking websites – claimed that a dentist recovered a chip from between a diner’s teeth when he complained of toothache after eating at the Oriental buffet.

Another restaurant near Doncaster was also targeted by the very same microchip rumour. None of the rumours have had any substance whatsoever.

And, back in 2009, the Cosmos restaurant chain was targeted in a similar smear campaign that falsely claimed that dog meat had been served from its Bristol restaurant.

In fact, Asian restaurants have been targeted in such smear campaigns for decades. Many of the rumours relate stories of cat bodies being discovered in the rubbish bins of Chinese restaurants. Others have falsely claimed that Asian restaurants have been caught serving rat to customers.

If this hoax message comes your way, please do not share it with others. Spreading these false stories is far from harmless. The rumours can significantly damage the reputation and ongoing profitability of businesses that have done no wrong.  Those who create and spread such stories may also have legal action taken against them by business owners who are quite understandably sick of malicious lies being told about their establishments.

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Last updated: November 4, 2013
First published: November 4, 2013
By Brett M. Christensen
About Hoax-Slayer

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