The woman and her family were eating at Applebee’s on Dec. 20, and she had ordered the Chinese chicken salad, her attorney said in a statement, and she’d shared it with her husband and their young child. That’s when she says she found a small slice of fingertip in her food.
“It was so gross,” the woman said in a press release from the attorney’s law firm. “I’m on pins and needles worrying about what my family might have been exposed to,” adding that she was particularly worried because she’s pregnant.
The family notified the restaurant, which confirmed that the fingertip belonged to an employee at that location. Applebee’s counsel sent a letter to the family nine days later, informing them that they wouldn’t require the cook to undergo any medical tests.
The claim is seeking unspecified damages for emotional distress, medical expenses for testing and lost income.
A spokesman for Applebee’s forwarded a statement from the area director of the franchisee, Apple MidCal, to the San Luis Obispo Tribune, calling the incident “unacceptable.”
“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 [family] while still at our restaurant, shared our sincere apologies, and have continued to speak with [the woman] in an effort to address her concerns.”
The statement adds that the employee involved volunteered to undergo any screening that would provide peace of mind for the customer, and that the franchisee is retraining team members on safety protocols “and will take any necessary actions to prevent anything like this from occurring again.”