Up to Code

'Food Detectives' investigate claims of foreign objects in food

Have you ever been to a restaurant or grabbed a takeout, and spotted something unappetizing in your food? 

Like maybe a fake finger nail! 

NBC 4 Investigator Tom Sussi shows you how these claims are investigated, and how often these "food detectives" can crack the case. 

"Unortunately, a lot of these are hard to make a final determination on," said Garrett Guillozet, Supervisor of the Food Safety Program for the Franklin County Public Health Department. 

Guillozet says his office receives a fair amount of these complaints. "Maybe one or two every other week or so." 

Of those, "I would say there's about a ten percent chance where we're able to do a final determination that the product came from that facility," he said.  

Sussi asked, "What is the biggest challenge in investigating these sort of cases?" Said Guillozet, "The amount of time that's passed from when the person first found that there was an item in their food to when we're notified to be able to go out there and do our investigation." 

Even when diners promptly notify the health department, these are tough cases to investigate. 

Take the case of a tooth crown, a diner claims he found in his fish at a popular seafood restaurant chain. Licking County Health inspectors investigated, even called in the United States Department of Agriculture. Nothing turned up at the restaurant, so the investigation moved to the out-of-state supplier. 

Other cases are slam dunks. "We had an instance where a screw was found in a piece of bread and it turned out that the oven had a missing where a screw was located," recalled Guillozet. 

Another time. "A pin cap fell into a food item and we were able to determine on site that yes they do have pens stored above their food," said Guillozet. 

And when it comes to bugs in food,  Guillozet said you have to cut restaurants some slack. "Especially around this time of the year when doors are open, and windows are more open." 

If you find an object in your food at a restaurant or takeout, The Franklin County Public Health Department inspector said you should immediately touch base with the manager on duty and file a complaint with the health department. 


comments powered by Disqus

Local Headlines

Latest Videos