PASO ROBLES, Calif., Jan. 8 (UPI) -- A pregnant California woman's lawsuit against Applebee's alleges she found a worker's bloody fingertip in the salad she ate from at the restaurant.
Attorney Eric Traut said his client, Cathleen Martin, visited the Applebee's in Paso Robles with her husband and his young child Dec. 20 and all three family members ate portions of the Chinese chicken salad before they discovered the small slice of bloody fingertip.
"It was so gross," Martin said in a news release issued by the law firm. "I'm on pins and needles worrying about what my family might have been exposed to."
Traut said Applebee's management confirmed the fingertip belonged to an injured employee.
The lawyer said Applebee's counsel sent the family a letter nine days after the incident saying the worker would not be required to undergo any medical tests.
Alan Knapp, area director of the franchisee, Apple MidCal, branded the incident "unacceptable" in a statement provided to the San Luis Obispo Tribune.
"We take matters involving the health and safety of our guests and team members seriously," Knapp said. "Accordingly, we immediately investigated and determined that an accident did occur in our kitchen. We discussed the matter with the Martins while still at our restaurant, shared our sincere apologies, and have continued to speak with Mrs. Martin in an effort to address her concerns."
"Additionally, the team member involved volunteered to undergo screening in an effort to provide the peace of mind Mrs. Martin seeks. Further, we are retraining our team members on our safety protocols and will take any necessary actions to prevent anything like this from occurring again," Knapp's statement read.
Traut said Martin, who is due to give birth in March, and her family members have all undergone medical screening following the incident.
"I'd like to think diners may go out without fear of finding something dangerous, anatomical, or biological in their meal," Traut said.
The family is seeking damages including emotional distress, medical expenses for testing and lost income.