Thinly sliced: Fish can feel pain, inspectors find rodent feces at Necco candy plant, and more

This is the web version of a list we publish twice-weekly in our newsletter. It comprises the most noteworthy food stories of the moment, selected by our editors. Get it first here.

Fish are friends, not food. Sorry, folks. No more denying the facts. Fish feel pain. Or so says The Washington Post in its report on recent research showing that fish likely are, in fact, suffering when they wriggle and thrash on a hook. Now, how much that suffering compares to our own is still not totally clear, and that may be why there are so many “fish pain skeptics” among us. But if we were to take the pain that fish experience as seriously as some of us do for the pain of other sentient beings we eat, a few federal regulations might be in order. Currently, neither the Animal Welfare Act nor the Humane Methods of Slaughter include fish. What to do until then? Just. Keep. Swimming.

Swiper, yes swiping! Ever “accidentally” code your avocados as carrots at the self-checkout? Neither have we! We swear! Everyone else is doing it though, according to a new report from The Conversation. Surveys conducted in the United Kingdom reveal that as many as one in five grocery shoppers engage in some kind of deceptive behavior when left to their own payment devices. And they’re not sorry, either. Self-service shoplifters report a wide range of excuses for their behavior. The best one: By turning to self-service checkouts, grocery stores are saving themselves a lot of money. Shouldn’t shoppers who have to do more work get a cut for their labor? We’re not saying that’s right. We’re not saying that’s wrong either.

Coffee money. By the end of 2018, 55 million people will pay for a store item using their smartphone, Recode reports. Surprisingly, 24 million of those transactions—43 percent—will come through the Starbucks app, which is for now outpacing its competitors Apple Pay and Google Pay.

Lollipopping off. The parent company of the ubiquitous Dum Dums candy lollipops is suing Tootsie Rolls Industries for stealing its design flow, Courthouse News Service reports. Earlier this year, the latter company redesigned its candy wrappers to closely mimic the red packaging unique to Dum Dums. Dum Dums is now alleging that this move was intended to deceive shoppers. Only time—and tongues—will tell.

Not so sweet. Here’s the good news for Necco wafer lovers: The company’s iconic candies—those pastel, semi-stale, vaguely medicinal disks—will likely stay in production for now. That’s thanks to a last-minute bid by the aforementioned maker of Dum-Dum lollipops, which bought the floundering confectioner for $18.83 million at federal auction on Wednesday, according to the Boston Globe. Here’s the bad news: Anyone who panic-bought Necco stockpiles in fear the company would close may want to, well, not eat them. CBS Boston reports that the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) sent the company a warning letter on May 16, citing appallingly unsanitary conditions at its Boston plant—citing rodent feces “too numerous to count,” including in the “Sweethearts” section. Kiss me? More like gag me.

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