CHARLOTTE, N.C. -- Deborah Webb said she was just looking for a sweet, natural treat to share with her five-year-old son Wednesday evening, but the candy bar she bought from Earth Fare in South Park was a little "too organic" for her taste.
"I had already taken a bite first and I looked down and saw the maggot," recalled Webb. "It was very alive and wiggling around. I told the manager and they said other people had called up and told them they also found maggots in the exact same candy bar. I'm just shocked they hadn't moved it off the shelf after they had the first people tell them."
Webb showed NBC Charlotte three photos she took of the candy bar and the maggot before the manager threw it away and refunded her money.
The Raw Organic Cacao Goji Berry Chocolate Bar is made by the California company Earth Source Organics.
NBC Charlotte contacted Earth Fare about Webb's claims. A corporate representative said she had to make some phone calls before commenting and would call our reporter back.
Friday, the President of Earth Source Organics, Audrey Darrow, emailed the following the statement to NBC Charlotte:
We are the number one selling fully certified raw chocolate in the U.S. and over the last seven years have had just a handful of calls regarding worms. We deal with them as compassionately and kindly as we can and we educate those customers that do not understand the ramifications of eating food close to nature like (that of) 100% Raw, Organic chocolate.
And as for the worms, Darrow offered this explanation:
Worms are part of nature and if a customer wants a 100% assurance that they will not find a bit of nature in their food once in their lifetime then they need to not buy Organic and Raw. Their alternative is to buy pesticide laden, heated and treated foods to assure them that it does not contain anything from the ground.
The statement went on to say,
We have 13 men and women who hand make this product and they are very diligent at trying to make sure no worms are in the fruits when they arrive at our facility. This is time consuming and expensive. The problem lies in the fact that when a microscopic worm that cannot be seen by the human eye leaves our facility and heads to a warm climate they then have a chance to grow. It is out of our control by then. When a customer contacts us we always replace the product and send them some of our amazing other chocolates as well as our gift for their trouble and for taking the time to let us know.