Thanks to the CDC, Poppy Seeds Will Never Be the Same

With some inappropriately-placed insects, the agency ticked off a whole lot of people.

By Ethan L. Johns
May 10, 2018

Image: CDC/Twitter

The internet can be scary, gross and evil. Yet the last place you would expect to find the trolls would be on the social media pages of your government’s health organizations.

Well, folks, we are not living in normal times. Last week, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention posted some subtly egregious photographs to its Twitter page. It took the country a few days to catch on, but now that it has, there’s no going back.

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You got it right, folks. Interspersed between crunchy poppy seeds and delightful bits of sugary, lemon muffin, are crunchy bloodthirsty ticks. Gross as that is, the agency put those hard ticks on that muffin to remind you of a hard truth: that tick, flea and mosquito season has arrived, and those little buggers are pretty darn small.

A recent study from the agency shows that warmer summer weather caused insect-borne disease to triple between 2004 and 2016, according to the New York Times. Once-localized diseases are spreading, some that can even cause meat allergies (yuh-huh).

The CDC did not go so far as to link the uptick in disease occurrences to a changing climate, and instead attributed the trend to increased air travel and an absence of vaccines.

Internauts, naturally, were ticked off at the Twitter post.


“Potlucks at the CDC must be a hoot,” wrote another.

Others were in better spirits:

“I suspect there’s a key-lyme joke here somewhere!” wrote one user.

“Can’t get tick bites if you’re biting them,” wrote another, including a gif that seems to say, “think about it.”

Nonetheless, the CDC issued a snarky apology with links to tick prevention and removal resources.

“Sorry we ticked some of you off! Don't let a tick bite ruin your summer. Protect yourself,” it wrote.

If you are bitten by a tick, here are their tips for removing it and monitoring the area to prevent disease. If you never want to eat a lemon-poppyseed muffin or scone again in your lifetime, we sympathize, but we can’t unsee this either.

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About Ethan L. Johns

Ethan is the Food News Writer at Genius Kitchen. An expert on the Parisian bistrot, he likes bitters and salted butters, and is no fan of dessert unless it's made with fruit. His hobbies include reading up on the history of borscht and attempting to roll perfect couscous by hand. Twits & Instagram @EthanLJohns