Food Safety Expert Discusses Customer Injury from Foreign Object in Meal

    Food Safety Expert WitnessThis case involves a patron of a fast casual restaurant chain who suffered injuries after ingesting a foreign object in his meal. At the time of the incident in question, the man was eating lunch with several of his colleagues from work at the the restaurant, where he ordered a burrito. After several bites, the man suddenly experienced a sharp pain in his throat as well as bleeding. Examination at the hospital revealed a laceration that had likely been caused by a sharp fragment of metal that had been present in his food.

    Question(s) For Expert Witness

    • 1. Are you able to determine if the object could have originated from improper food preparation?

    Expert Witness Response E-156926

    I have owned and managed several restaurants and kitchens, and maintained each kitchen up to Department of Health standards in a major east coast city. I managed various locations of a similar fast-casual restaurant for a three year period. The foreign object made contact with the burrito either during the food preparation process or while the customer was eating the burrito. Because workers are in and out of the kitchen, it is quite possible that the foreign object came from an employee or within the kitchen. I would want to consider where the customer was consuming the food in the restaurant, whether the kitchen is up to health department standards, and whether all employees wear gloves during food preparation.

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