Customer Sues Domino’s Because Intestine-Piercing Wire Bristles Are Not A Pizza Topping

If you’ve ordered enough pizzas, you’ve probably come across a few with a stray topping that shouldn’t be there. In most cases, the worst that can happen is you eat some green pepper, sausage, or mushroom that you hadn’t intended on consuming. But one Washington state man claims he didn’t realize until it was too late — and he was having emergency surgery — that he’d eaten some Domino’s Pizza topped with wire bristles.

The Seattle Times has the story of a lawsuit filed by the Domino’s customer who says that wire bristles in his Canadian bacon and pineapple pizza ultimately pierced his intestine as they tried to work their way through his digestive tract.

The plaintiff says that he felt a “sharp tearing” in his throat after taking a bite of the pizza. Apparently not realizing what he’d eaten, he washed his meal down with juice and ate some bread. But the throat pain eventually became a “dull pain” in his abdomen.

The culprit was the pair of 1.5″ fine-gauge wire bristles that doctors removed during surgery. One of the wires had pierced the man’s small intestine, according to the man’s wife, who later took photos of what she alleges are additional bristles on top of the pizza.

The suit was filed against the local Domino’s franchise responsible for this pizza, seeking damages for injuries and loss of income.

According to the Times, a county Health Dept. review of this eatery found that employees were using wire brushes to clean the pizza ovens, and that some brushes showed signs of wear.

A rep for Domino’s corporate office said that while franchisees are independently owned, they are still required to follow local, state and federal health regulations.

The plaintiff and his family say they want to send a message about the use of wire brushes in kitchens.

“A company should be accountable to what they’re providing consumers,” said the customer, who has recovered from his surgery. “I’d like to see food organizations look for ways to implement better safety practices.”

“I’d like them to find a new way to clean their ovens,” said his wife to the Times.

The use of wire brushes in the kitchen — and subsequent complaints about bristles ending up in food –has been investigated by the Centers for Disease Control, which previously advised foodservice businesses to “examine whether their patrons are at risk for this injury” and suggests looking into alternate ways to clean cooking surfaces.