The Indian internet has been in uproar over the last few days. A man had managed to videotape cockroaches snugly wedged into a fridge at a Cafe Coffee Day outlet in Jaipur; that would’ve been bad enough, but the CCD employee who discovered the customer recording the roach managed to slap him for his efforts. The entire incident was caught on video, which promptly went viral.
Twitter reacted with its customary outrage, coming up with a barrage of memes and jokes, and managing to trend a BoycottCCD hashtag. The outrage seemed to be towards the cockroach and the slap in equal parts. But while a customer getting slapped by a service employee might be unique, Cafe Coffee Day appears to be no stranger to accusations of cockroaches being found in its outlets.
As far back as 2009, people have been complaining about cockroaches at the coffee chain.
Friday night fever. Long drive. Crazy rush at Airport Road CCD. Cockroach scare. Sharing horror stories on way back.
— Gaurav Srivastava (@sangfroid) November 13, 2009
In 2010, someone had tweeted about having bitten into a cockroach at a CCD.
@qtfan not the first time i heard CCD sucks. I had a coffee and bit on a cockroach 😐
— Wewake Saynoy (@wewakesaynoy) February 28, 2010
The same year, East India Comedy member Sapan Verma had tweeted about finding a cockroach at a CCD. Someone had then replied to him about having spotted a rat in the CCD kitchen.
— Aniruddha Guha (@AniGuha) May 21, 2010
In October 2010, a customer claimed that they’d been served a mochaccino with a floating cockroach in it.
Went 2 CCD today, they served Milk Shake in place of Black Current Blast & Mocacchino wid a floating cockroach!..City center CCD is terrible
— Debamalya Das (@Debamalya_Das) October 23, 2010
In 2011, someone had found a cockroach running in the chocolate cakes at the Cafe Coffee Day in IIT Madras.
Saw a cockroach running in chocolate cakes in CCD @ IITM. 😮 revolting.
— Akilan (@akilan27) January 11, 2011
The same year, a customer discovered a cockroach on the sandwich shelf.
I have personally found a cockroach crawling on a sandwich shelf on one Cafe Coffee Day outlet. I never buy food from any CCD now.
— Namrata Balwani (@mysti) August 11, 2011
In 2012, someone had written a blog celebrating the coffee chain, but had described the Noida Sector 18 CCD as “Best-known for its acute cockroach problem.”
The same year, someone had found a cockroach at Infiniti mall.
— Pankaj Kapoor (@cupoor) March 31, 2012
Even MTV VJ Ramona had spoken about the issue.
— Ramona Arena (@ramonasworld) August 16, 2012
In 2014, yet another customer had found a cockroach at CCD.
@CafeCoffeeDay I went yesterday to CCD city centre mall,nasik… There was a hair in cold coffee and cockroach in kiwi lemonade..disgusting
— Nidhi (@DrNidhimotwani) March 24, 2014
And last year, someone had found a cockroach in a Bangalore outlet.
— Pravin Bhaise (@bhaisepravin) August 15, 2016
In 2016, a customer had even posted a detailed account of having found a cockroach at the Greater Kailash 2 outlet in Delhi. After reporting the incident to the manager, they’d said that no one from CCD had got back to them.
If all this isn’t horrifying enough, chew on this: there are plenty of such claims against nearly all Indian food chains.
Here are some people who claim to have found cockroaches at McDonald’s.
— girish goyal (@girishgoyal1969) March 29, 2017
so we went to mcdonalds, came home, and found a cockroach in our drink cup. ? watch out guys
— Ashley Lewis (@yoo_xshleyy) March 21, 2017
And here are some cockroach reports at Dominos.
— Aditi Jiwarajka (@aditi_jiwarajka) March 17, 2017
— ARVIND G. JALAN (@ArvindGJalan) March 17, 2017
And here are some reports of cockroaches at homegrown Haldirams.
— Rahul Swami (@IamRSwami) June 5, 2016
Boycott Haldiram's products because these are unhealthy .I found cockroach in this packet of peanuts of haldiram's . pic.twitter.com/KkR7YgDAn4
— sourabh mehta (@sourabhmehta95) August 23, 2016
Before you swear off ever eating out again, it’s worthwhile to bear in mind that there are hundreds and thousands of such outlets in India, and some reports of cockroaches found in the food doesn’t mean that your next meal will necessarily come with a side order of something out of Fear Factor. But there’s no smoke without fire, and it does appear that Indian food chains – and Cafe Coffee Day – appear to be somewhat lax with their hygiene regulations. Which means that the reaction to the latest Cafe Coffee Day cockroach incident might be a little over the top, given that some roaches are pretty much par for the course at food chains. Now that’s a thought that’s reassuring and horrifying in equal measure.