Who Could Relish Bullets in a Hot Dog?

Times Staff Writers

Doctors on Tuesday were monitoring a woman who said she bit into one bullet -- and swallowed another -- embedded in a hot dog at an Irvine warehouse store.

"At first I thought it was part of my braces," Olivia Chanes, 31, of Mission Viejo said in Spanish about the live 9-millimeter cartridges she encountered at a Costco store. A store spokesman declined to comment.

Irvine Police Lt. Jeff Love said officers were summoned Sunday after Chanes reported having bitten the bullet in a hot dog from the store's food stand. "We have no idea where it came from," he said.

Police cut several dozen Hebrew National hot dogs -- the store's entire inventory -- into pieces looking for other possible contaminants, but "nothing else was found, and there were no other complaints," he said. "It's a very strange occurrence, and obviously, we're very concerned."

Chanes said she developed stomach pains and went to Mission Hospital Regional Medical Center in Mission Viejo, where an X-ray revealed the second bullet. "I think it's the most secure way for a bullet to enter your body," she told La Opinion newspaper. "If a bullet's going to be in your stomach, at least it didn't pierce the skin to get there."

Doctors have urged her to let the bullet exit "naturally" before turning it over to police. "I'm thinking about my health," she said.

"They need to inspect the food more closely."

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