Forget streetside pani puri vendors, woman finds even multi-billion dollar multinational 'health food' chain cares two hoots for hygiene
Woman finds worm in her sandwich (video)
While pee in the pani puri became cause for major political drama, here's one story that is probably even more shocking. This one comes, not from a cheap roadside stall, but from a $15-billion international franchise that prides itself on its fresh food and hygienic service. On Wednesday, around 7.45 pm, Harsha Punjabi (29), a Chembur resident was in Prabhadevi when she decided to grab a quick bite at Subway, the chain famous for its submarine sandwiches or subs. She went in, ordered a chicken tikka sub.
Food for thought: Harsha Punjabi shows the chicken tikka sub, in
which she found a worm. Pic/Sameer Markande
She took the top slice of bread off to peer inside and pick out the scrumptious chicken bits and relish them individually. Blame her fastidiousness, but no sooner did she open it than she spotted a worm jiggling underneath chunks of marinated chicken in her innocent-looking sub. Expectedly, fright, shock and retching followed. Indignant, she called upon the manager, who then, expectedly, profusely apologised and offered to replace her sub.
"The manager told me that they used a special powder imported from Spain to wash the vegetables," said Punjabi. "He even showed me a packet," she added. Unimpressed, Punjabi, a social worker attached with an advanced locality management or ALM, a residents' forum, shot a video (CD available with MiD DAY) of the worm on her cell phone and called up the police help line, 100, and the BMC help line number 1916. Within 10 minutes, three policemen reached the food joint and took her to Dadar police station along with the chicken tikka subway.
Twists in tale
Initially, the duty officer asked her to approach the Food and Drugs Administration (FDA) with her grievance. "The police told me that once the FDA issues its directions, only then can they register a complaint," said Punjabi. She then called up Assistant Police Commissioner Madhukar Sankhe, and also called some of her colleagues to the police station.
Finally, the Dadar police registered a non-cognisable complaint (NC) and slapped a fine of Rs 1,200 on the eatery. "A complaint for a non-cognisable offence has been registered against Subway. The case is under investigation. After the BMC's directions, we will register an FIR," said A D Unde, senior inspector, Dadar police station.
Incidentally, the worm she found was a cabbage worm (not so much in dissonance with its ecological commitment brandished on its website as "eat fresh" and "live green"), which is actually a caterpillar that feeds on cabbages and other host plants, including broccoli, cauliflower, mustard greens, turnip greens, radish, and turnips. So you know what not to ask for in your sub.
The Other Side
Sandip Pawar, manager of Subway, Prabhadevi outlet, tried to worm his way out by saying it was the fault of the vegetable supplier. "We have sought an explanation from the vendor. Once the report is submitted, I can share more details," said Pawar. He added that the eatery is also pacifying the aggrieved customer.
What you can do
According to Satyam Dubey, a practising lawyer in a consumer court, an aggrieved customer can approach the BMC, the police or the consumer court. "According to the law, the BMC and police can fine the eatery Rs 1,200," said Dubey. "The consumer can even file a case in the consumer court if they fall ill after eating the infected food. The court will decide upon the compensation after hearing both parties."
In the past
In 2010, Tommy Lam, a Canadian resident found 50 ants in his burrito. The 28-year-old said he and his girlfriend stopped by McDonald's for breakfast when he realised that his breakfast was lined with dead ants. In 2002, businessman Yashpal Singh Aulakh alleged there was a worm in a burger he bought from the McDonald's outlet in Basant Lok commercial complex in Delhi
Did you know?
Subway boasts of having the most number of outlets across the world - 34,497 restaurants across 98 countries.