I found staples in my cheeseburger, help!!!

Discussion in 'Off-Topic Discussions' started by originalbigjim, Oct 27, 2007.

  1. well guys something really strange happen to me today at a local chain restaurant, i ordered a bacon cheese burger and about 3 quarters the way into it i felt something sharp poke the inside of my mouth after biting into my burger, i spit out one piece of what can i only describe as a black staple because of its size but it may have been a black metal wire about the size of a regular office staple when bent flat, i spit it out and was going to swallow everything else in my mouth and then i got poked again, there was another in there as well. I alerted the waitress and she called the manager. she was confused and scared just as i was she told me that my meal would be free and that i could order anything i wanted off of the menu free of charge but after nearly swallowing metal i didn't want to take my chances on another piece of food. She took my plate and the two staples away from me and threw them out, minutes later she then gave me her business card with a coupon for 2 free entires and apologized again and again. I left a larger tip for the waitress and promptly got out of there. I am considering seeking legal action with the chain restaurant so i will not disclose the name but i was just wondering what would you guys do? I don't want to be another sue happy American but i feel like i was wronged and this could have turned out much worse if say my pregnant wife ordered this burger or perhaps one of my children. I realize my legal grounds are slim but i am sure they would hate to have bad press like this so they would be willing to settle out of court but I just am unsure what to do, i value all of your opinions and and any advice or comments are appreciated. thanks
  2. Abner

    Abner Well-Known Member

    Oh man! Was anyone else there with you? If so, you have a witness. If not, the waitress and Manager can always deny everything. Also, I noticed you said they threw the food away (no evidence). Let me know.

  3. buckwheat3

    buckwheat3 Master of the Obvious

    Contacted the police? There might be criminal activity. Maybe not too late, but like Abner said, everything is gone, unless the employees verify what happened, which they probably will. No skin off their back even if thy get kiced to the curb by the chain store....many resturant jobs out there.
  4. sentinel

    sentinel New Member

    You have just stated that you do not want to be a sue-happy America (USAian is more correct since anyone residing in North America, Central America, or South America is by definition an American) therefore drop the matter and be done with it. The "staples" in your burger probably originated upstream of the restaurant likely before the product was purchased by the restaurant.

    Then you say, "this could have turned out much worse if say my pregnant wife ordered this burger or perhaps one of my children." How would the situation had been any different had your wife or children found the foreign object in their burger?

    My opinion is to forget the incident and get on with your life. Unless you can prove malicious intent on the part of the restaurant , or more simply that the restaurant knew in advance of the presence of the foreign object, you will become just another sue-happy American. The restaurant acted in good faith to remedy the situation at the time of the event.

    < sarcasm >Maybe you needed the extra iron (steel) supplement in your diet.< /sarcasm > :D
  5. jonesstorm

    jonesstorm New Member

    There are a few potentional points to consider here:

    You have no evidence to prove this happened, so it's basically your words against theirs if it went to court. If it went to court - well, it probably wouldn't. You don't have a case, as once you accepted the coupons the resturant can be seen as legally settling the complaint with you. In a situation like this, if they are not making you happy, then you have to stand firm, and in addition to that small fact, how are you going to state that you were willing to accept coupons for free food from an establishment in which you discovered a "staple" in your food? Your complaint was resolved, technically speaking.

    All in all - your best bet is to simply move on, and not push the issue. Things happen in life - the best thing you can do is make it a learning experince and find something positive to take from it.
  6. SteveFoerster

    SteveFoerster Resident Gadfly Staff Member

    While litigation has long eclipsed baseball as the American pastime, I'm with those who suggest you just move on with your life. Besides, considering the hormones, veterinary antibiotics, and even excrement that's in beef, I'd say the occasional staple is the least of your worries.

  7. cookderosa

    cookderosa Resident Chef


    Two times in the past 5 years I had a situation that legally - I was in the right. The first situation got 13 months of my time- and the second situation got 7 months of my time. I really don't think it was worth the amount of tedious records I had to keep- reconstruct the events- writing detailed accounts- providing evidence. Photos, police reports, complaints, Atty. general office form, better business bureau forms, blah blah blah.

    Not to tell you what to do, but it is a lot of effort involved when really you were not damaged. I hate to say this, but this kind of thing happens a lot.

    Let me say one thing that you SHOULD do TODAY in my opinion, you need to report this to the USDA and county health department (BOTH)- they will follow up and check food safety issues. These staples probably were from the packer/manufacturer. Unless you were at a restaurant that pats their own burgers (highly unlikely) they bought these patties pre-pressed and frozen. There probably needs to be a situation report and inspection of the restaurant and processing plants ASAP.

    Don't mess with calling the restaurant- waste off time.
    Make these 2 calls TODAY.
  8. Shawn Ambrose

    Shawn Ambrose New Member

    I agree with Jen on this one, and if the restaurant has not reported this, then shame on the restaurant manager.

  9. Randell1234

    Randell1234 Moderator Staff Member

    That is why I am a vegetarian!
  10. John Bear

    John Bear Senior Member

    My doctoral research, and two subsequent consumer books* were focused on how corporations respond to consumer complaints. There were no highly consistent patterns . . . but more and more corporations subscribe to the notion that "a complaint is extremely valuable market research." They will almost certainly want to know, at the corporate level. I agree with Jennifer's advice . . . but also a straightforward non-threatening short letter either to the president or the VP for consumer affairs -- with a copy to the legal counsel (helps show that you should not be taken lightly) would be appropriate. Based on the nature and tone of the response, you might want to consider further action.

    Curiously, while I was working on my second consumerism book** I found something very much like a thumbtack in a carton of a major brand of quality ice cream. I phoned the company, thinking that if it were a manufacturing problem (disintegrating machine?) or sabotage, they would want to know at once. I was put right through to a VP for R&D, who was very glad to know. They later sent me a gift certificate for $200 worth of their product. Of course if someone had been injured or traumatized, we might have talked to an attorney.

    * Send This Jerk the Bedbug Letter: how corporations, politicians and the media deal with consumer complaints... (Ten Speed Press)

    ** Complaint Letters for Busy People (Career Press)
  11. Ted Heiks

    Ted Heiks Moderator and Distinguished Senior Member Staff Member

    In other words, you don't want to become another sue-happy American, but yet you're asking our permission to become another sue-happy American. Hmm. :rolleyes:
  12. well this is what happen, i called tons of people, including a lawyer. I reported this to the fda, and to the company. The company basically called me and asked me in so many words what will it take to keep me quiet. I told them i just wanted the a promise that this would never happen again. The lawyer said we had a case but it wasnt a good one, we would have to prove emotional distress and that was not something i was interested in doing. at the end of all this i got a couple of free meals and two staples, a little aggravation but i think it was worth it now that it is worth it.
  13. cookderosa

    cookderosa Resident Chef


    Since you took it that far, can you please take it to the 2 places that will follow up on the food safety issue? The FDA doesn't inspect meat. The USDA and your county health department should be your first calls- they probably served 100 staple burgers since this happened to you several days ago. The restaurant's promise is empty, they have no way to promise that this won't happen again. Your county inspector would have had that food out of their freezer in 15 minutes, and the USDA would have done a HACCP evaluation tracing it back to the farm if necessary.
    Since your not going to sue, will you share the name of the chain?
  14. ... it was applebees...
  15. John Bear

    John Bear Senior Member

    "...Already the business staple of friendly casual dining, Applebee's is pursuing expansion opportunities..."

  16. Randell1234

    Randell1234 Moderator Staff Member

    My suggestion: If you were not injured - get over it. Things happen and mistakes are made. I eat out a lot and find hair in my food, get the wrong, order, get served meat,...whatever. Just don't go back.
  17. TEKMAN

    TEKMAN Semper Fi!

    I agree with Dr. Randell (incase I feel uncomfortable to call Dr. in the future):D . People make mistake; if you don't want to sue them for their mistake. Then just get over with it. I ordered a size of fried rice at a Chinese restaurant; and there was a stone in it. I almost swallowed it, but I didn't do anything tp agaomst the restaurant manager. Just simply, don't go back there again.:eek:
  18. John Bear

    John Bear Senior Member

    Just wanted to let y'all know that I found a cheesburger in a box of staples this evening.
  19. jonesstorm

    jonesstorm New Member

    Oh my, you must have experienced severe trauma, are you going to sue over the cheeseburger in the box of staples? What did the office supply company say? Did you have to return your stapler to have an emergency operation? Details...:D
  20. Abner

    Abner Well-Known Member

    Is it true that when you eat at Applebees you can feel grease stuck to the roof of your mouth? I saw Louis Anderson in Vegas (Stand up), and he mentioned that in his act. The Applebees commercials look pretty tasty, as long as I don't swallow any staples. :)


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