A little while back, Jason came down with food poisoning after chowing down at his local Taco Bell. And when he later tried to give the fast food eatery a heads-up that others might get sick — and this was before anyone knew of the multi-state salmonella outbreak tied to Taco Bell — he was told that maybe he just hadn’t eaten enough Taco Bell to toughen up his stomach.
When Jason’s bout with salmonella had finally run its course, he contacted both the chain’s national customer service and the Taco Bell where he’d purchased the salmonella. He says the customer service rep was “very receptive and apologetic,” but the manager at his local franchise was “less than helpful.”
Take it away, J:
I just wanted to warn the store, and hopefully prevent somebody else having to go through what I did.
As soon as I told them I had food poisoning, the manager immediately became defensive, spouting off their health inspection records and assuring me that their restaurant was clean — I guess nobody trained the manager that a dirty cooking area isn’t the only vector for food poisoning. She also forcefully told me that nobody else had reported getting sick.
The most ludicrous part was when after describing my symptoms (nausea, hourly vomiting, diarrhea), the manager tried to tell me that if you weren’t used to eating their food, it could cause an adverse reaction. Yes, the manager tried to blame food poisoning symptoms on me not having the intestinal fortitude to handle Taco Bell!
After that I figured it wasn’t worth continuing the conversation. What a shame that the manager at the store seemed more interested in playing CYA than listen to somebody who was trying to help.
While Jason might have just been out to help, some salmonella victims have filed suit againt Taco Bell’s parent company over the outbreak.
If you were the manager and received a call about food poisoning, how would you have handled it?
More importantly, how much Taco Bell does it take to harden your digestive system enough to handle a chalupa?