MOUNT VERNON — We generally do not think about the safety or integrity of the food we eat whether it’s the food we buy or food we eat in restaurants. But with the thousands of meals prepared daily, especially in the fast-food restaurants, it is inevitable something will happen to shake our confidence in the safety of the food we eat.
This was the experience of Ryan Wood recently. Wood, of Fredericktown, was eating a burrito from Taco Bell when he found a piece of used chewing gum in it.
“I felt disgusted. It was in a ball and it wasn’t a very good feeling,” Wood said. “I reported it to Taco Bell. I was offered a free meal the next time I was in. I wasn’t looking for a free meal. I wanted to know what they were going to do about it. The day manager told me she would look into it and take care of it.”
Wood also made a report regarding the incident to the Knox County Health Department.
“I made a report to them but I haven’t heard anything about it yet,” he said.
Nate Overholt, who is a registered sanitarian for the health department, said food safety is taken very seriously by the department.
“What we generally do is a nuisance complaint,” he said. “We put it in our nuisance log. From there we will act depending on if it is an imminent emergency or not. If we feel it is a very possible opportunity for a food-borne outbreak or illness we will immediately go do an inspection and talk to the restaurant manager and the employees. We will let them know we’ve had a complaint and ask if they’ve had any complaints.”