UPDATE: Applebee's Is Sorry About Huge Insect Leg In Salad

Remember that huge grasshopper-ish insect leg that Reader Stacie pulled out of her mouth while eating an Applebee’s Apple Walnut Chicken Salad? After her story was posted to the Consumerist, Stacie was contacted by Applebee’s and finally got the apology that she wanted.

Read her email inside.

Hi Meg-

I wanted to let you know that thanks to The Consumerist, I did receive a call Friday from the district manager affiliated with the Applebee’s that I purchased my insect leg salad from (she mentioned she saw it on the internet).

Ms. Goodwin was very apologetic and reassured me that they have added some new “quality control” processes to hopefully reduce significantly the probability that anyone else gets an insect leg in their salad. She gave me the details on how it happened and what is happening now:

Salads purchased by Applebees come in pre-packaged, vacuum-sealed bags. The contents are washed by their supplier five times, then sealed and distributed to the restaurants. From what I understand, in the past, contents were taken from the bags and distributed on to plates for the salads. Now, and going forward they will be emptying the contents into bins to double check the contents prior to placing on the plates.

Ms. Goodwin has asked if she could bring lunch into my office, since there is no process in place to refund our money. I am hesitant myself, but am going to check with my co-workers to see what they would like to do since a number of others in my office also threw their food once they saw what I had in mine.

I would like to extend a thank you to you and The Consumerist for posting my concern, which again was more about why it happened in the first place and how Applebee’s failed to follow-up after vs. the having leg itself in my mouth. Although it took about a week and a half, I did receive what I believe was an explanation of why it happened and an appropriate apology from Applebee’s District Manager, Ms. Goodwin, and she is working to gain back the trust and business from my co-workers and me.

Thanks for looking out for all of us!

Thanks for following up, Stacie. We’re glad that Applebee’s is going to take steps to weed out the bug legs! (At least the really, really large ones… ) —MEGHANN MARCO

PREVIOUSLY: Applebee’s Apple Walnut Chicken Salad, Now With Free Insect Leg (Caution: Gross Photos)


Edit Your Comment

  1. rocketslide says:

    The salad is washed 5 times? At least it was a clean bug leg.

  2. Gasface says:

    No system to refund their money? Sounds like corporate bafflegab to me.

    Too bad you’re weren’t eatting at Applebee’s physical location – you have a ton of leverage dining in, since you can always threaten to walk out on the check. Of course that raises certain legal and ethical issues, but so does a huge insect leg in your food.

  3. Rajio says:

    @Gasface: LOL @ “Of course that raises certain legal and ethical issues, but so does a huge insect leg in your food.” (its funny ’cause its true!)

  4. ducksauce says:

    Last summer I was eating at an Applebee’s in Greenburgh, NY and found a live bee squirming at the bottom of my salad. When I showed it to the manager the meal was comped, and I haven’t been back to any Applebee’s since. Not that finding the bee was really that horrible (although a bee with a stinger seems more of a threat than a grasshopper leg), but it was just the last straw.

  5. r81984 says:

    In some countries they would have just eaten the leg, it would not have hurt the woman.

    This is stupid, all you should get is a replacement meal. Applebees did nothing wrong in this situation.

    When our food comes from outside, its not surpising that a bug can end up in the final product. Who has to time and money to search through tons of lettuce to make sure there are not bugs in it.

    If they did an 100% inspection we probably could not afford lettuce.

  6. josh1701 says:

    What happened to gift cards? Why not invite them back to the restaurant for a comped meal?

    My wife and I had terrible service at a recent meal at Applebee’s. After talking to the manager, our meal was comped. I also emailed the district manager to tell him about our experience.

    Don’t know if anything has changed since we were there as we don’t have any plans to return, although their half-price appetizers after 9 p.m. is a great deal.

  7. Hoss says:

    If they can’t spot a bug on a plate — will they find it in a bin? They need a bug consultant. Can I post my phone number?

  8. timmus says:

    Holy comole… I have no problem at all with insect parts in a salad from my own garden, but NOT in a salad that should have been washed thoroughly. That opens up the spectre of E. coli possibly infiltrating the salad, too.

    After getting a -really- crappy burger from Applebees a few months ago (I’m talking about those tough, cheapass pre-formed patties you get in the supermarket). I swore never to go back. I really don’t think they care, and I seriously doubt a district manager has the power to do anything about their food supply.

  9. lindyman77 says:

    In fairness this was not their fault… not sure I’m supporting this. Not that I’d eat there in the first place.

  10. pillow says:


    fortunately for you they are not called Applebees, else you would have had to make a run for it ^^

    People tend to be bit over senstive about what they find in their food, of course I dont like finding a one inch piece of wood inside the blueberry Muffin I had at that starbucks in shanghai last year or the plant lice inside and iceberg, but is no biggy, just peel it away or get a fresh muffin.

  11. joey_bones says:

    I, for one, wonder exactly how “huge” the leg was. Is the scientific engineering of hardier crops leading to massive grasshoppers so big that by 2011, we’ll have to start calling them “Lawnhoppers”?

  12. Hirayuki says:

    @joey_bones: About two inches long, if the photos posted in the original story were to be believed (and there’s no reason they shouldn’t be). So, yeah: huge.