A California woman says she found a bloody human fingertip in her Applebee’s salad in December and has filed a claim against the popular restaurant chain, the first step in filing a lawsuit, The San Luis Obispo Tribune is reporting.
Cathleen Martin, through her attorney, said she and her family were eating at the Paso Robles Applebee’s location on December 20. She ordered the restaurant’s Chinese Chicken Salad.
Martin, who is pregnant, said that she, her husband, and her young child (his or her age has not been specified) had each eaten at least a couple of bites from the dish when they found a disgusting surprise.
— UPI.com (@UPI) January 8, 2016
Ms. Martin, of course, brought the bloody fingertip to the attention of Applebee’s management, who confirmed that it had belonged to a cook.
“It was so gross. I’m on pins and needles worrying about what my family might have been exposed to.”
Applebee’s claims that the cook who lost the fingertip cannot be forced to undergo medical testing to see if he or she is carrying any communicable diseases; however, according to Fox News the cook has voluntarily agreed to be tested. Further, Ms. Martin and her family have all been tested for communicable diseases; it’s not clear, as of this writing, if they’ve tested positive for any.
Mrs. Martin and her family are seeking unspecified damages for emotional distress, medical expenses for testing, and lost income.
In a statement, Applebee’s spokesperson Alan Knapp, area director of the franchisee, confirmed that the incident was “unacceptable.”
“We take matters involving the health and safety of our guests and team members seriously. Accordingly, we immediately investigated and determined that an accident did occur in our kitchen. We discussed the matter with the Martins while still at our restaurant, shared our sincere apologies, and have continued to speak with Mrs. Martin in an effort to address her concerns. Additionally, the team member involved volunteered to undergo screening in an effort to provide the peace of mind Mrs. Martin seeks. Further, we are retraining our team members on our safety protocols and will take any necessary actions to prevent anything like this from occurring again.”
As of this writing, it is not clear if any disciplinary action has been taken against the cook whose bloodied fingertip wound up in a customer’s salad.
Disgusting things turn up in diners’ (or grocery shoppers’) food from time to time, and when it does, it often makes the news. Just a few weeks ago, according to this Inquisitr report, a customer at Nando’s (a chain restaurant that serves Portuguese/African fusion cuisine) found a badly decomposing frog in her salad. And in May, 2014, a KFC employee in Wales, apparently aggravated by a rude customer, allegedly laced the customer’s food with pubic hair. And in 2005, according to NBC News, a customer at Kohl’s (an ice cream shop in North Carolina) found a human finger in his frozen custard.
“I thought it was candy because they put candy in your ice cream or whatever to make it a treat. So I proceeded to put the object in my mouth, got all the ice cream off of it and spit it in my hand.”
In fact, Ms. Martin’s lawyer, Eric Traut, has represented other clients who have had disgusting things turn up their food, including a couple who found a used condom in their French onion soup. He’s also heard of a case where a stainless steel screw wound up in a customer’s ice cream, causing the customer to injure their mouth.
Have you ever had something disgusting turn up in your food that you ordered from a restaurant? Share your thoughts in the comments below.
[Image via Shutterstock/Northphoto]