I would first like to apologize to everyone at South Bend Chocolate Factory as I do not want this to come off as an attack towards anyone in particular but feel compelled to write to you about what we witnessed on our recent visit to your facility. My name is Sara Krachinski, and I am a Special Education teacher at Michigan City High School. On 2/09/2023, myself and another teacher, took a group of 25 students to the South Bend Chocolate Factory for a tour. Upon arrival, we were asked to wait a few minutes for our tour guide to prepare for our group, which was fine, but a few minutes turned into approximately 15. This can be difficult with our students as they are special needs, some with physical limitations and others with attention problems. Before entering the factory portion of the facility, we were asked only to put on hair nets. We were surprised, and honestly a little shocked to see all the sample chocolates in boxes that were uncovered and exposed to anyone who was in the room. We witnessed coughing and sneezing from people with no masks on and workers with hair nets half on and half off. The machines were extremely dirty with dust and other particles caked in the sides of the assembly line. The man running the line for the turtles was touching all the caramels and had one glove on and one glove off. His hair net was not properly on either. We do have pictures. As our tour continued to the next room our tour guide offered a chocolate-covered peanut to our group. After everyone eating one, our guide informed us that the pretzels and nuts were made on the same line. Cross-contamination would have been nice to know before we ate the peanuts. I had two people on the trip who have celiac disease and cannot have any gluten. I then asked the tour guide to please let us know before offering our group anything else due to serious gluten allergies. The lady apologized but then offered my gluten allergy ladies a chocolate-covered pretzel. I do not think she understood what I was saying and as a tour guide, I feel it is important to understand all allergies and not just nut allergies. As our tour was coming to the end our kids got to make a chocolate-dipped spoon. While the kids were in line I was shopping in the area. I went to buy my kids cookies and found a maggot crawling inside the package. I immediately showed our tour guide and she tossed the entire basket of cookies. As we continued to wait and look at the candy in the showcase there was a dead bug on top of the solid chocolate. Unfortunately, this turned me, along with my crew, off from buying anything. We were disgusted at what we saw during our trip and before I gave a bad review on Google I wanted to reach out.