Origins: On or around 23 August 2014, a now-viral video involving Reese's Peanut Butter Cups crawling with maggots began spreading like wildfire on the social web. As is often the case, the rumors lead back to one clip, but the virality of the footage is creating the impression for many Twitter and Facebook users that Reese's Peanut Butter Cups are routinely infested with maggots.
The clip achieved a new level of audience when it was shared on the World Star Hip Hop page, and in response to the heavily circulated single clip, Reese's social media team appears to be buried under a siege of panicked queries about the maggot video.
A few things stand out about the Reese's maggots clip, which is of undetermined veracity. One is that the footage begins with an already opened Reese's cup, and the other is that both people in the video are wearing blue gloves, suggesting a possible laboratory setting.
The opened package alone makes verifying the source of the maggots seen in the video difficult from the outset. In addition to opened packaging on the Reese's cup in question, the surface of the chocolate on the top of the item is pre-cracked, suggesting maggots could have been deliberately introduced as part of an experiment or practical joke.
Could a Reese's cup be harboring maggots, whether or not this video is entirely straightforward? As of now, Reese's has been heavily apologizing to offended consumers via both their Facebook and Twitter pages — and the brand explains how maggots could come to be inside a Reese's Peanut Butter Cup should that be the case:
Infestation is an environmental problem that can occur during the storage and distribution of food products. We have comprehensive integrated pest management programs in place to prevent infestation in manufacturing and distribution. Further, manufacturing processes such as nut roasting are at such high temperatures that insects could not survive. Although we print proper storage instructions on all of our outer cartons, we have no control over the environmental storage conditions and stock rotation policies of distributors and retailers. Infestation can occur if the product is stored with or near infested food or pet products. Pantry pests can penetrate virtually any type of packaging on the market today, with the exception of glass or metal.
If you have yet to see the Reese's "maggots" video, you can view it by clicking here. However, the clip in question involves a degree of loud swearing, and should not be opened in work settings.