Fact Check

Are Canadian Snowplows Using Skittles to Maintain Roads?

A routine review of content labeled satire.

Published Jan 21, 2020

 (Ekaterina_Minaeva / Shutterstock, Inc.)
Image Via Ekaterina_Minaeva / Shutterstock, Inc.
Snowplows in Canadian towns are using Skittles brandy candy to maintain roads in winter.

On Jan. 6, 2020, The North Bay Bay News published an article positing that snowplows in Canadian towns were using Skittles brandy candy to maintain roads during the winter:

Citing the rising cost of road salt and environmental concerns, area snowplows are now using Skittles to maintain winter highways at milder temperatures.

Drew Strickland is the head of Ferronial Services, the contractor responsible for clearing local highways.

“We were just as skeptical as anyone with the initiative,” says Strickland, “but it works. Skittles consist of a hard shell which shatter when frozen and create grit. The citric acid inside also helps break down pre-existing ice and prevents build-up when the temperature drops.”

This item was not a factual recounting of real-life events. The article originated with a website that describes its output as being humorous or satirical in nature, as follows: "The North Bay Bay is a news satire and parody website. All articles are fictitious. So don’t take them too seriously, be nice to others, and eat your vegetables, ok?"

For background, here is why we sometimes write about satire/humor.

David Mikkelson founded the site now known as snopes.com back in 1994.