By Calvin Palmer
A diner at a TGI Friday’s in upstate New York found himself the victim of a variation of “there’s a fly in my soup” at the weekend.
For Jack Pendleton it was a case of a snake’s head in his broccoli.
Pendleton, 28, of Ballston Lake, was at the restaurant in Clifton Park with his girlfriend on Sunday when he spotted something gray among his vegetable dish.
At first he thought it was a mushroom until he looked a little closer and saw a V-shape, the snake’s mouth, and the black rotted eye sockets and part of the spine still attached. The snake’s head was about the size of his thumb.
Pendleton photographed his find with his cell phone camera and called the waiter over.
He kept his hand over the plate as he described his discovery and the waiter thought he was joking.
When Pendleton removed his hand from over the plate, the waiter realized it was no joke. He grabbed the plate and took it back to the kitchen.
“The manager came over white as a sheet,” said Pendleton. “He explained in five years he’d never run into anything like this.”
Amy Freshwater, a spokeswoman for the Carrollton, Texas, chain, said company is trying to determine what happened.
“We are taking this situation very seriously,” she said. “We immediately pulled the broccoli from this restaurant and began an extensive investigation.
“As a precautionary measure, we pulled broccoli from all restaurants that received product from this supplier.
“We have since isolated the specific lot date of the broccoli in question and have now reintroduced the product in all restaurants not included in the product hold.”
The supplier has been contacted to begin its own investigation, she said. The object is being sent to an independent laboratory for testing.
Freshwater said: “We have very strict and thorough safety and sanitation procedures and regret that this situation occurred in one of our restaurants.”
Pendleton and his girlfriend were not charged for their meals. He said he has filed a complaint on the company’s Web site but has no plans to sue.
[Based on a report by the Times Union.]