Never saw this coming
Except by "never," I mean "totally."
It's not often that I feel sorry for giant corporations, but this is one of those times when I do. Apparently, the whole finger-in-the-chili thing was a hoax. It's really not surprising, given that if someone's finger did actually get cut off* anywhere in the production chain for the chili, it's pretty unlikely no one would have noticed (at least, I think it's unlikely, but I'll admit that I know very little about mass food production of the sort used by Wendy's).
Situations like this really suck, because the company has to spend a ton of money investigating, and more importantly, suffers serious damage to its reputation. And there's likely no way they can recoup the money they've lost, and will continue to lose, because even if they could win a lawsuit against this woman, it's not like she has the money to pay them. Then, of course, there's the fact that (as noted in the article) individual franchises are independently owned, so they get hurt financially, as do the workers (who already make next-to-nothing).
Normally, I hate bringing up the "franchises are independenly owned" issue, because usually it's in the context of arguing against a boycott of the company. For example, I won't eat Domino's pizza** or join a Curves gym (not that I would, anyway, but that's beside the point) because the owners of those companies donate large sums of money to political causes I strongly disagree with (Operation Rescue in the case of Domino's; I'm not sure of the name for the Curves one, but it's some sort of pregnancy pseudo-counseling center that targets scared pregnant poor women and misleads them about the options available to them, particularly abortion - it's something like that - I forget exactly, but I know it's not something I want to support).
Some people would say you shouldn't do that, because you're hurting the individual franchise owners, who have nothing to do with the politics of the owners of the companies, but that's not something I'm willing to consider, because I'm still not going to spend money there if it means putting money in the pockets of people who support causes I think are wrong. If the franchise owners are worried about the company owners' politics affecting their bottom lines, they shouldn't have franchised those companies. Also, the amount of money I spend on things is fairly static - if my money doesn't go to, say, Domino's, it will just go somewhere else. So some other franchise owner (or even better, an independent restaurant) will get my money instead. There's no way every business is going to get money from me, so better that I spend it at those whose politics I don't disagree with (or, to be practical about it, that I am unaware of).
All that really has nothing to do with the Wendy's thing, but I just felt like talking about it anyway.
*This does raise the question of where the heck did the finger actually come from? I believe they were able to confirm that it was an actual human finger. So if she put it in the chili herself, whose is it? Did she just find it somewhere? Did she hack it off a dead body, or even worse, a live person?
**I should add that I am not entirely sure if Tom Monaghan still owns Domino's. I thought I had once heard that he sold the company, but don't know for sure (maybe I'm thinking of the Detroit Tigers, which I think he did sell). In any case, Domino's pizza sucks, so I still wouldn't eat it. One other thing - it occurs to me that I have no idea if Wendy's owner (past or present - not sure who that is now) has donated any money to any particular causes. For all I know, they donate to causes I don't like. If that's the case, than I retract all the sympathy I have for them.