I Think I'll Go Steep Worms

The substance seen in a viral Facebook video in Lipton tea bags isn't worm-based, it's lemon flavoring.


On 20 February 2016, a video appeared on Facebook claiming that Lipton tea contained "living worms" in every bag:

 

The narrator stated that the substance in question was definitively not "herbs" or tea, but worms. She demonstrated that the affected tea was always "lemon flavor," and none of the units she examined were out-of-date.

Many users commented, speculating that the worms were in fact crystals that were in the bags to add lemon flavoring to the tea. On 23 February 2016, Lipton addressed the rumor via Facebook with a statement and a video of their own:

In response to the video of Lipton's Lemon Green Tea bags, there are no "worms" in our tea bags. These are small lemon flavor pieces which have been mistaken for worms. If you put these lemon flavor pieces in hot water they will dissolve as you can see from this video. The tea is of the highest quality standard and is absolutely safe to consume. If you have any questions, please contact us at 1-888-547-8668 or consumer.services@unilever.com

In response to the video of Lipton's Lemon Green Tea bags, there are no "worms" in our tea bags. These are small lemon flavor pieces which have been mistaken for worms. If you put these lemon flavor pieces in hot water they will dissolve as you can see from this video. The tea is of the highest quality standard and is absolutely safe to consume. If you have any questions, please contact us at 1-888-547-8668 or consumer.services@unilever.com

Posted by Lipton on Tuesday, February 23, 2016

In the video, Lipton separated the "worms" from the tea leaves before adding them to a cup of hot water. The "worms" instantly dissolved, unlike actual worms, which (as can be definitively demonstrated when going for a walk after a rainy day) are not immediately water-soluble.

While tens of thousands of users shared the first clip, while only a few dozen passed the second one on to Facebook friends.

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