Mystery object found floating in bowl of Campbell's soup ID'd; lab says it's not a chicken embryo

Lab: Mass appears to be chicken tendon, cartilage

DENVER - A strange and unappetizing object found by a Broomfield mother floating around in her daughter's canned soup, turns out to be chicken as advertised, but an interesting portion of it.

Nicole Montgomery told RTV6 sister station 7NEWS that she poured a single-serving can of Campbell's Chicken and Stars soup into a bowl to heat it up for her daughter Molly, and that she noticed the strange lump when she took the bowl out of the microwave.

"I opened it up, and there was this spec in there -- I was like, 'What is that?' I looked a little bit closer and I was like, 'Oh, that looks like a dead chicken.'"

The object is shaped like a lima bean, nearly twice the size of the star-shaped noodles that give the soup its name. Several dark and narrow appendages reach upward from the core of the bean-shaped lump.

"I just can't stop thinking about it," Montgomery said. "It makes me sick to my stomach to think about what was in that soup. I know things get in the manufacturing process all the time, but this is a big company that should know a little bit better."

Some 7NEWS viewers on Facebook said the mass appeared to resemble a chicken embryo.

Reporter Russell Haythorn took the soup to an independent lab in Wheat Ridge to determine what the object is.

"The odds are it's just a veiny portion of the chicken," said Kathie Inman with Industrial Labs. "Those chickens are going to be pretty much de-boned and emptied before they're ever taken apart to go into a soup product."

According to Industrial Labs, the results are conclusive: it is not a chicken embryo.

Lab technician Kimberly Meinecke examined the specimen.

"It looks to be more like a tendon or cartilage that would be used to bind the muscle to the bone," said Meinecke. "It has that kind of toughness."

She added that unlike an embryo, the object in the soup has no definition.

"You would also see definition of the wings and/or feet," said Meinecke. "It's definitely not anything out of the ordinary when you're processing chicken."

Montgomery said she appreciates the results, but is still frustrated with Campbell's lack of consideration.

"The response I got yesterday from customer service was, I kind of got brushed off," she said.

However, Campbell's Soup Company has been very responsive with 7NEWS, since we initially aired the story Monday.

The company issued the following statement:

"Campbell Soup Company takes all claims of product contamination very seriously. Whenever we receive such a claim, it is fully investigated by our Quality Assurance team to determine its possible cause. We are in the process of evaluating the claim and have not yet received the exhibit from the consumer to conduct our investigation."

A spokeswoman said a FedEx box is en route to Montgomery's house to pick up the specimen and test it at its own labs.

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