Within the last month or so someone here on the Dope made the claim that, when a person is cremated, the ashes their family receives will have the cremains of other individuals mixed into those of their loved ones. Of course, I can’t find the thread now, but that’s the gist of their statement.
I’m quite dubious of this claim. First, I can’t imagine it’s legal, although my Goggle-fu is failing me on this. Second, this would be a huge scandal just waiting for some local cub reporter to blow open and sink the funeral home responsible. Finally, I can’t think what kind of cost-cutting or time-reducing element this would have on the funeral home: they would still need the same number of urns/boxes, bags for the ashes, and labels printed. The poster gave the impression that a number of bodies were cremated without the crematorium being cleaned out between uses, and at the end a big ol’ pile of ashes was mixed up a divvied up between the correct number of urns. It would only be a matter of time before someone noticed that there were some bone screws in grandma’s ashes and… wait a minute! Grandma never had any kind of surgery!!!
So I’m curious… is there any validity to the claim that cremains are mixed together before being returned to the family members?