Singaporean mum finds piece of plastic in toddler's food at restaurant in Tampines Mall
"Not something I thought I needed to do a thorough check on. But definitely a lesson learnt."
There have been several cases around the world about customers finding plastic in their food at restaurants. Just last February, there was a massive recall of Singapore’s Dutch Snickers, Mars, Milky Way and Celebrations candy bars after a piece of plastic was found in a Snickers bar in Germany. Singapore was made to participate in this recall as its candy bars carry the label "Mars Netherlands".
It’s needless to say that parents are growing more cautious about food intake.
But mother-of-two, Lilian did not expect to encounter something like this while dining with her family at a reputable restaurant in Tampines Mall.
On 19 June, 2016, 36-year-old Lilian was dining with her husband and two sons aged 7 and 4, at a reputable restaurant in Tampines Mall. She and her family had made it a point to have breakfast there every Sunday. Both her sons ordered the usual kids meal while Lilian and her husband shared a breakfast platter.
Just moments later, Lilian’s eldest son Jenson started spitting furiously into his food.
Startled, Lilian asked him what was going on and her husband, Alex, thinking that Jenson was choking on something, called for a glass of water. The family started getting curious stares from the tables around in a matter of seconds. Everyone was wondering what was going on. But sadly, nobody offered any help.
Alex turned to stop Jerome, their younger son from eating his food and checked his plate, but found nothing out of the ordinary.
When Jenson finally calmed down, he said that he found a piece of plastic in his food, which he then pointed out.
To Lilian’s horror, it was a fairly huge piece of plastic and of hard material, like the kind used for tupperwares! Thankfully, Jenson didn’t swallow any of the plastic and had spit it out.
The restaurant staff reacted fast, apologising incessantly and offering to provide Lilian and her family new sets of meals with no extra charge. They also said that they were completely okay if Lilian wanted to bring the matter up to a higher authority.
To not make matters worse, Lilian accepted the meals and refused escalate the matter further. She also advised the staff to be more careful and meticulous in their food preparation, to avoid a repeat of this unfortunate accident.
“I was hysterical, and every part of me wanted to kick up a fuss and walk out of the restaurant but my child was safe, so I figured that raging won’t make matters any better," Lilian shares with us. She also highlighted that she was more concerned that her child didn't swallow any small bit of the piece of plastic, so her mind was on his well-being more than anything else. And rightfully so.
Other parents who have found unusual objects in their children's food shared with us:
Mr Leong, father of a 7-year-old tells us, “I was dining in a well-known restaurant which serves kids meals with my daughter, wife and mother-in-law and we found a tiny piece of plastic in the pasta dish. Not wanting to cause a scene, we quietly informed the waiter who alerted the manager and the kitchen staff about the findings. They apologised profusely and even offered to give us complimentary meals for our next 5 meals with them.”
He added: “My advice to parents is to always make it a point check your kid’s food before they take their first bite. And if you do find something out of the ordinary, alert the staff kindly, and don't panic.”
A stay-at-home mum told us: “We found a piece of plastic in our delivery! We called the restaurant immediately and they reacted promptly, saying that they will come with a new set of food in 20 minutes, and they did. Just scary if my son had gobbled the curry down and we hadn't stirred it before serving it to him.”
It’s always better to be safe than sorry
Being alert is one super power we must possess as parents!
Parents are advised to make it a point to check not only their kid’s meals, but also their own before eating. Let us not take such matters lightly as they pose a danger to our lives.
If you notice anything unusual in the food you're eating, do not hesitate to call for assistance from the restaurant’s staff. Try not to escalate the matter or to scare the other patrons of the restaurant.
Have you experienced anything similar? Do share with us- we would love to hear from you.