Customers expect certain unwelcome surprises when biting into fast food – wilted lettuce, ineffective sauce distribution, perhaps even the odd unwanted condiment. But David Scheiding of Ohio was met with a shock much more sinister when he sank his teeth into an Arby’s chicken sandwich. Inside the breaded poultry he spotted a slice of flesh – not chicken, but human skin.
Understandably disgusted, Scheiding made a beeline for the bathroom. Meanwhile, the county health department launched an investigation, questioning the Arby’s manager. He wore a telling bandage over a cut on his thumb, coupled with a latex glove on his right hand. The manager confessed to slicing his skin while shredding lettuce, failing to discard the batch.
Why didn’t he just trash the contaminated lettuce? Perhaps trying to avoid wasted ingredients. Nonetheless, such missteps snowballed into over $50,000 in damages courtesy of Scheiding’s lawsuit. He continues to feel the lasting effects from ingesting the meat and skin snack combo.
So was the manager solely responsible, or does blame also lay with Arby’s policies and training? Christine Koeller, Vice President of GZK Inc. which owns the Tipp City franchise in Ohio, said that the manager “did everything that he thought was appropriate to do.” But evidently his judgement missed the mark.
For chains like Arby’s, the fallout of disturbing incidents like this sticks to the corporate brand more broadly versus individual locations. After all, customers don’t make a distinction between local franchises and corporate ownership when ordering their roast beef sandwiches.
Although finding a piece of human skin in your food is disgusting, people have experienced much worse. People have found everything from mice, teeth, snake heads, and even human fingers in their food before. Have you ever found anything unexpected in your food? Please let us know in the comments.
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.