A woman's meal at a Wendy's restaurant brought a whole new meaning to the term "finger food." The woman bit into a portion of a human finger while eating a bowl of chili Tuesday night at the San Jose restaurant, Santa Clara County health officials said Wednesday.
The woman, who asked officials not to identify her, immediately spit out the finger and warned other diners to stop eating, witnesses said.
"Initially she did put this object in her mouth and did bite down on it and wasn't sure exactly what it was," Santa Clara County Health Officer Dr. Martin Fenstersheib said at a news conference. "She's doing OK. Initially she was a bit grossed out it was described to me, and vomited a number of times."
Fenstersheib said the finger had been cooked at a high enough temperature to kill any viruses.
Officials said the fingertip was approximately 1 3-8-inches long and a half-inch piece of fingernail was also found. They believe it belongs to a woman because of the long, manicured nail.
Health investigators seized all of the ingredients at the restaurant and are tracing them back to their manufacturer. They believe the finger got into the chili at an earlier stage.
"We have no evidence of any accident within the employees at the facility itself," said Ben Gale of the Santa Clara County Health Department. "We asked everybody to show us they have 10 fingers and everything is OK there."
The restaurant has had only one minor health violation stemming from a leaky vent, according to the San Francisco Chronicle.
"Food safety is of utmost importance to us," Wendy's spokesman Joe Desmond said in a statement. "We are cooperating fully with the local police and health departments with their investigation. It's important not to jump to conclusions. Here at Wendy's we plan to do right by our customers."