Now In Applebee's Salads: Lizards!

Applebee’s served a four-inch dead lizard as part of a salad last week. The McLean County Health Department investigated the surprise garnish and found that while “management confirmed it did happen,” “it’s just one of those extraordinary circumstances,” and that the restaurant was not at fault.

Asked whether the health department thought the lizard came with the lettuce, or whether it was placed with the lettuce later, Davis said, “I don’t want to speculate or place blame.”

The health department has not fined or sanctioned the restaurant, Davis said. The sanitarian’s investigation revealed that nothing appeared out of the ordinary and that Applebee’s staff did nothing wrong, she said.

Employees showed how they wash the lettuce, cut it, then wash it again. “They couldn’t fathom how it (a lizard) got through the process…and they profusely apologized,” Davis said.

Applebee’s officials promised that “the report was being taken very seriously.”

Lizard reportedly found in salad at Applebee’s [Pantagraph]
(Photo: Getty)


Edit Your Comment

  1. Grrrrrrr, now with two buns made of bacon. says:

    He’s just trying to save you money on your car insurance. Quit complaining!

  2. mom22bless says:

    mmm…. this might be considered a delicacy somewhere!!

  3. Fujikopez says:

    That’s some crazy guerrilla advertising by Geico!

  4. Imaginary_Friend says:

    The customer should have just ate it. I’m sure it would’ve tasted better than anything else on Appleby’s gawd-awful, disgustingly over-charred menu.

  5. The salad was indubitably delicious?

  6. GreenHawkIA says:

    Not the first time that Applebee’s has had this happen…This happened to a University of Iowa professor at the Coralville, Iowa Applebee’s a few years back:
    The lesson is if you go to order a salad at Applebee’s, ask them to hold the croutons and lizard.

  7. Bearcat44 says:

    “It’s reptile week at Crapplebee’s!”

  8. waza says:

    they apologized

    what do you want more ?

  9. Dustbunny says:

    But are they taking it seriously?

  10. bnelson333 says:

    I love the picture chosen, it adds a little fright to an already disgusting story (it’s a tokay gecko, those little buggers are MEAN).

  11. strathmeyer says:

    @waza: “they apologized

    what do you want more ?”

    A salad with no lizard?

  12. Hongfiately says:

    And the server was a caveman.

  13. The Great Aussie Evil says:

    Was the lizard poisonous?

  14. Finine says:

    How do you serve a salad with a 4 inch lizard in it and not notice it?? Ewww.

  15. TVarmy says:

    @Bearcat44: I’m sorry, I totally laughed because that is exactly how they sound in Applebee’s ads.

  16. kittenfoo says:

    when i was married i used to have to go to painful thanksgiving dinners with in-laws every year no matter what. my favorite memory was after dinner one year when someone got the coffee cups out of the cabinet and one of them had a curled-up dead lizard in it. it was almost like god was telling me to “hang in there, i know it’s tough.” never had a lizard in a salad, though on the few occasions i go to applebees, i do tend to order salad in some form.

  17. Robobot says:

    “Employees showed how they wash the lettuce, cut it, then wash it again.”

    I can not believe that the salads at Applebee’s are anything better than bagged. Fresh, double-washed greens? Ha! A bagged salad would certainly explain the lizard. Factory-packaged foods aren’t always perfect. Cut open the bag, throw in a bowl, garnish, and serve without a second thought or a cursory glance to make sure it’s edible.

  18. CaptRavis says:

    The mediterranean house gecko are invasive, but they eat insects (roaches) not salad. So I figure they were really doing you a favor and picking the bugs out of the lettuce.

  19. illtron says:

    Better to find a dead lizard than a live tokay gecko like in the picture. Those MFers are vicious!

  20. BiZarRroBALlmeR says:

    I said I wanted it GRILLED!

  21. Dansc29625 says:

    @strathmeyer: As well as the check 15 minutes ago. lol I wanted that 15 minutes ago! You don’t understand, I wanted that 15 minutes ago. (Had a kids in the hall moment sorry y’all.)

  22. I was wondering if this story would make it here. I’ve eaten at that Applebee’s many times.

    I’ve never had a lizard in my salad, but their braised iguana is delish.

  23. Cliff_Donner says:

    “This is not a common thing and, from our perspective, the restaurant was not at fault,” Davis said. “It’s just one of those extraordinary circumstances.”

    Yes, I would agree on a couple of points:

    1) Serving a lizard in a salad is not a common thing, and,
    2) Yes, it’s an extraordinary circumstance.

    Where I would disagree, is on this point:

    “the restaurant is not at fault.”

    They served the lizard to the patron. They should have safeguards in place (i.e., the server actually looking at the plate to see if the item served is something that the server himself would eat — doesn’t seem that outrageous!)

  24. MadTheologian says:

    It must be the Wall of Voodoo special.

    “I’m on Mexican whoa-oh Radio!”

  25. Cliff_Donner says:

    Adding: yes, obviously this sort of thing can happen occasionally, and a company should not be pilloried when it happens, but the company’s response should be, “OMG, we can’t believe this happened,” not, “Yeah, you gotta expect the occasional lizard . . “

  26. iCanhasLs2plz says:

    How could the lizard have gotten in a salad bag? Since when did lizards start eating vegetation? I call vast right/left wing conspiracy.

  27. platoreborn says:

    A friend of mine found some live bugs in her salad at a major chain restaurant. She wasn’t sure if it was a good or bad sign because it was obviously fresh!

  28. SharkD says:

    Well, it’s pretty obvious from this report, that it’s the customer’s fault, which is why the health department isn’t concerned:

    Applebee’s insists that their, “investigation of this incident, which includes interviews with the server and manager on duty and the collection of their written notes of what occurred, clearly indicates that the guest ordered Fiesta Lime Chicken, a dish that contains a lizard garnish.”

    “The server’s order pad and the ticket to the kitchen also verify the accuracy of the order.”

    The two dishes, restaurant officials point out, differ significantly in appearance. Chicken Fresco is topped with a tomato slice and chopped green herbs, while Fiesta Lime Chicken has a lizard and asparagus spears.

    “She [the server] is very clear that he repeated more than one time that Fiesta Lime Chicken was his choice. We don’t believe there was any confusion on her part. Had he been confused . . . when the dish was brought to the table it would be been clearly visible to him that it had lizard meat on it.”

    Source: Sarcasm Daily News, Fiona Morgan, 2/31/2008, Page A10.

  29. johnfrombrooklyn says:

    You must not have ever worked at a restaurant or understand how restaurants get their food. It would be very easy to serve a 4″ lizard. A 4″ lizard from head to tail would be very very tiny. @Cliff_Donner:

  30. deadspork says:

    Unfortunately, some things that live outside of buildings get into buildings sometimes.

  31. My question is, where the hell did they find a lizard in McLean county?

  32. @Eyebrows McGee:

    Good point. I don’t think we have many (any?) of those around here.

    Unless it made a break for it from a pet store?

  33. battra92 says:

    @Hongfiately: So you’re saying that being a waiter is an easy job?

  34. This just in: shit happens! Things outside of the realm of our imagination happen! Remotely possible incidents occur in real life!

    NEWS AT 11!