POSTED: Friday, May 3, 2013 - 4:58am
UPDATED: Monday, May 6, 2013 - 10:10pm
Baton Rouge, LA (NBC33) — A simple family dinner became a nightmare when an out-of-town family found an ingredient that did not belong in their meal.
The Gainous family claimed to find at least one insect in the meal they brought home from Chili's Wednesday night.
"I knew exactly what I was ordering," said Carvett Gainous. "We eat all the time at Chili's, and we hadn't had time to cook or nothing, because my little daughter, she was just born, like, six days ago."
Carvett Gainous and his mother, Martha, came to town to visit his girlfriend, Jasmine, as she gave birth to their daughter. They were tired and did not have time to cook, so they picked up food from the Chili's location on College Drive. They all thought something was odd about their Margarita Grilled Chicken.
"And I felt something, and I didn't know what it was," Martha Gainous stated. "You know, I just said, 'it just don't taste that good.' I'm thinking nothing, so I just keep eating, but I knew something wasn't right."
"I took a bite," Carvett Gainous said, "and I felt something on my tongue, so I pulled it out, and I was like, and I threw up. It was horrible."
He pulled out a bug, about a quarter of an inch in length. They did not know what it was, but it resembled a cricket or moth. They took pictures of it and kept it (with the rest of their meal), and wings, legs, and antennae are all visible. Their appetite, however, quickly disappeared.
"We haven't eaten anything since then," noted Martha Gainous.
When their stomachs settled a bit, they went back to the restaurant to tell the manager. He apologized, but the Gainous family did not like his guess at what may have happened.
"He said that they had exterminated, had just recently exterminated, and things like this do happen," Martha Gainous recalled. "And I told him, 'well, I wouldn't expect for it to be in our food, though.'"
"He was nice about the situation," Carvett Gainous added. "He did what was expected of him, he refunded our money. But he offered us more food, and I was like, 'are you crazy? You think we would eat this again?'"
In response to the Gainous' claims, Chili's issued the following statement:
“At Chili’s Grill & Bar, the health and safety of our guests is always our top priority. We maintain very strict standards of food quality, safety and cleanliness in our restaurants. We are taking this allegation from a To Go guest very seriously and currently investigating the situation internally. At this time, we cannot offer any additional details.”
Martha Gainous said her concern is that the restaurant brought in exterminators after an insect problem began, rather than to prevent it from happening in the first place.
The Louisiana Department of Health and Hospitals last inspected the restaurant in January 2013 . It had a few minor violations, but the report does not mention any insects.
Martha Gainous mentioned that she will consider whether to file a lawsuit against the company, but she has mixed feelings about that.
"Oh, I love Chili's," she said. "I'm always eating at Chili's. Yeah, I love Chili's, but I won't any more."
"My experience with Chili's is done," agreed Carvett Gainous. "Every time, if I were to go to Chili's, I would think about that memory every time. So that's about it for Chili's."