The Centers for Disease Control just wanted to warn people about the connection between ticks and Lyme disease.
But photos of a poppyseed muffin with five ticks hidden amid the seeds posted to Twitter by the agency May 4 with the caption, "Ticks can be the size of a poppy seed. Can you spot all 5 ticks in this photo?" left some on social media feeling queasy.
“Ugh I will never be able to eat poppyseed again,” wrote one person. “So much for muffins for breakfast this morning. Or ever, thanks for this. I need to watch what I eat anyway,” wrote another.
“This made my skin crawl,” one person commented.
Some of the 1,100 people who commented on the CDC post opted for humor over outrage.
“Potlucks at the CDC must be a hoot,” commented one person. “Personally I prevent tick bites by putting all my ticks in muffins and then eating them,” read another post.
“Don’t put ticks on the muffin, murder them like the god damn animals that they are. What do we pay you for anyway?” one commenter asked. "Who at the CDC was traumatized by muffins as a child?" demanded another poster.
The CDC acknowledged the original post may have rubbed some the wrong way in a May 7 follow-up on Twitter.
“Sorry we ticked some of you off! Don’t let a tick bite ruin your summer. Protect yourself,” the CDC post read.
More people in the U.S. will be bitten by ticks in May, June and July than in any other three-month span of the year, according to the CDC. A 2016 study found ticks infected with Lyme disease in about half of U.S. counties.
About 30,000 people are diagnosed with Lyme disease in the U.S. each year, the CDC reports, but the real number of infections each year could top 300,000.
Symptoms of Lyme disease, caused by bacteria spread by ticks, include fever, headache, fatigue, and a characteristic skin rash. If left untreated, the infection can spread to joints, the heart, and the nervous system, according to the CDC.