Imagine grabbing a piece of chicken from your McDonald’s meal and then noticing that you were about a bite into a fried chicken head. That’s exactly what happened to this Virginia mother.
On November 28, 2000, Katherine Ortega bought a box of chicken wings at a McDonald’s in Newport News, Virginia. After a fun family outing, she was looking forward to taking her two children out for a chicken dinner. But while dividing up the box of McDonald’s “Mighty Wings” on plates, she found an unusual looking piece in the box. It was a fried chicken head.
A Fried Chicken Head Surprise
“I noticed that it had a beak and it had eyes,” said Ortega. She then screamed. The unusual piece in question was, in fact, a fried chicken head.
Ortega later called the McDonald’s restaurant and spoke to the manager. He unapologetically offered her a refund or another box of chicken wings.
“He said, ‘Just bring it back. We’ll send it back,'” Ortega said.
Asking The Media For Help
Unsatisfied with McDonald’s manager’s casual response to the fried chicken head that she almost ate, Ortega contacted the media. At that point, Ortega had lost her appetite for chicken and told the manager that he could see the fried chicken head later on TV.
“I kept thinking about my children,” Ortega said. If she wasn’t paying close attention, her youngest child, a 5-year-old, would have probably accidentally eaten the fried chicken head.
The photo of the fried chicken head was taken by Sangjib Min for the Virginia Daily Press. The Virginia Daily Press story is pictured below. Reporters from a variety of news organizations examined the fried chicken head. They all thought that the batter looked exactly the same as the other fried chicken items in the box. It did not appear that Ortega had fabricated the incident and created the friend chicken head herself.
Ortega wants to file a lawsuit, but her lawyers have advised her against suing. She saw the fried head before biting into it, and a chicken head cannot be considered a foreign object (unlike a mouse head, for example) when found in a box of other chicken parts. Both of these factors make a claim of psychological trauma unwinnable.
Ortega contacted the FDA for advice on handling the incident. She’s also planning on meeting with McDonald’s officials who want to know more about the matter.
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Frank Wilson is a retired teacher with over 30 years of combined experience in the education, small business technology, and real estate business. He now blogs as a hobby and spends most days tinkering with old computers. Wilson is passionate about tech, enjoys fishing, and loves drinking beer.