A pregnant California woman says she found a piece of bloody fingertip in her salad at Applebee’s in Paso Robles last month and has filed a claim against the restaurant chain.
On Dec. 20, Cathleen Martin and her family visited the Applebee’s where she ordered aChinese chicken salad. It was in that salad that she discovered a small slice of a fingertip — but not before she, her husband, and their young child had already eaten from the dish, according to her attorney Eric Traut.
“It was so gross,” Martin said in a news release sent by Traut’s firm. “I’m on pins and needles worrying about what my family might have been exposed to.”
Martin said she was particularly alarmed because she is expecting her second child in March.
Upon finding the fingertip, the family says it notified restaurant management, who confirmed the fingertip belonged to an employee there. A letter sent to the family from Applebee’s counsel nine days later said management, by law, could not require the cook to undergo any medical tests.
The claim, which is the first step in filing a civil lawsuit, seeks unspecified damages for emotional distress, medical expenses for testing and lost income.
Tom Linafelt, media spokesman for Applebee’s Grill and Bar, forwarded a statement from Alan Knapp, area director of the franchisee, Apple MidCal. The statement said the business regretted that the Martins experienced the “unacceptable” incident at one of its restaurants.
“We take matters involving the health and safety of our guests and team members seriously,” the statement reads. “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.”
On Thursday, Traut said his clients have all undergone medical testing since the incident. He said his firm is in communication with the chain’s corporate office, which he said has been cooperative.
Can you imagine the horror of finding THAT in your food? We’d be traumatized for life.