Shein Customer Says She Was Sent a Vial of Human Blood and a Can of Beans in Viral TikTok

Shein Customer Says She Was Sent a Vial of Human Blood and a Can of Beans in Viral TikTok

A customer is using TikTok to force Shein and FedEx to explain how they allowed a glass vial of human blood and a can of Goya beans to be inserted into her online order.

In a series of viral TikToks that have been viewed more than 7.5 million times, Shein customer Anna Marie said she received an unlabeled vial of blood from what appeared to be a testing lab on Monday with her dress order. Alarmed, she proceeded to reach out to Shein, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), and Exact Sciences, the testing facility associated with the vial. She also contacted her local health department and the police.

Human blood is considered a biohazard because it contains disease-producing agents that can be transmitted to individuals and cause them to develop diseases, such as Hepatitis B, Hepatitis C, and HIV. Experts recommend transporting blood samples in two containers or bags with absorbent materials.

Anna Marie said she was told by Exact Sciences that the blood in the vial was intended for a cancer screening and did not contain any diseases.

“The reason it’s creepy is because the lab confirmed it is a glass vial, so we’re all kind of wondering, was the bean can there to break the vial and expose me to something? I don’t know,” she said “It is just blood from a person’s cancer screening. We verified it’s not anyone with Hepatitis, AIDS, or anything that we can be exposed to, but it’s still another person’s blood. I don’t want to touch it.”

Dr. Ryan Marino, an emergency room doctor and toxicologist, told Gizmodo that, assuming the tube was sealed, there was a low risk for the spread of disease. The fact that the incident occurred, however, is concerning. It “could very well indicate significant problems in processing/handling of biological specimens that may be more of a risk than just having to throw away one gross sealed tube of blood,” he stated.

Exact Sciences confirmed to Gizmodo that Anna Marie did receive one of their vials in an email on Friday and said it “takes safety, quality, and privacy very seriously.” Spokesperson Lindsey Dickinson said Exact Sciences was working with the shipping company to identify how the vial ended up in Anna Marie’s Shein shipment.

As far as Shein’s involvement in the incident, Anna Marie said the company reached out to her and put her on the phone with a higher-up from the company’s factory in Los Angeles. The Shein executive told her that the company reviewed the factory footage and saw when its employee inserted her purchased items in a FedEx package. There was no blood vial or can of beans at that time, according to Shein.

Anna Marie also tried to reach out to FedEx but said in a TikTok that the shipping company has not offered to help her and “basically blew me off, treated me super disrespectfully.”

Shein reiterated in a statement to Gizmodo on Friday that Anna Marie’s package had not included the extra items when it left its facility.

“When we were made aware that a customer received a package that had been tampered with, we launched an immediate investigation. This indicated when the package completed our quality control process and left our facility it contained only the SHEIN items ordered,” a Shein spokesperson said in an email. “We will continue actively supporting the customer in her continued investigation into what occurred once her package left a SHEIN facility.”

FedEx apologized for Anna Marie’s experience in a statement to Gizmodo on Friday but did not provide specifics. The company said it was “taking the appropriate steps to address this matter.”

In a TikTok on Thursday, Anna Marie said she was in good health and OK. Going forward, she said she’s going to wear gloves when opening packages and recommended others exercise caution, too.

“More than a couple of people have commented saying, ‘Why weren’t you wearing gloves?’ and ‘Why did you order from Shein?’ I don’t typically wear gloves when I order an innocent dress package. I will be doing that from now on, I can assure you,” Anna Marie said. “And I order from Shein because it [offers] great clothes… Will I be ordering from them again? Doubt it.”

Update 3/15/2024, 3:15 p.m. ET: This post has been updated with additional comment from Exact Sciences.

Update 3/15/2024, 6:54 p.m. ET:  This post has been updated with additional comment from Dr. Ryan Marino and FedEx.

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