A man has been left feeling “appalled” after discovering a “sharp metal object” in his food while eating out at a restaurant.
Nicholas Egan visited Wildwood in Maidstone on October 29 and thinks he “would have ended up in hospital” if he swallowed the metal.
Mr Egan, from Ashford, went to the Mediterranean pizza, pasta and grill restaurant with his girlfriend and her two children when he discovered the object in his calamari starter.
Despite unknowingly putting the metal in his mouth, Mr Egan was not harmed by the item and believes he was “very lucky”.
“As I was finishing the dish I pulled this metal thing out of my mouth,” he explained.
“I was quite shocked, to be honest. I couldn't believe that was in my food.
“I wanted to know what they were going to do about it but they didn't really say much.”
The 54-year-old believes the metal came from the mayonnaise dressing and thinks the sauce should have been taken off the menu until a further investigation took place.
Mr Egan, who lives in Providence Street, South Ashford, explained how the metal item had “incredibly sharp edges”.
He added: “I was lucky it did not prick my mouth, but if I had swallowed that I would have ended up in hospital I'm sure.
“It looked like a piece off a bit of machinery. It had incredibly sharp edges.”
Wildwood proceeded to pay for the meal as a way of apologising to Mr Egan and informed him they would send a picture of the metal object to their head office.
Staff at the restaurant then told Mr Egan they would be in contact with him regarding the incident.
However, more than two weeks later, Mr Egan claims to have not heard back from Wildwood.
“They took pictures of the metal and said they would send it off to head office. I was told someone would be in contact with me but I have not heard anything,” he said.
“I think it's appalling that I have not heard anything back from the restaurant or environmental health on the matter.”
Following the “lack of care” shown by the restaurant chain, Mr Egan says he will “not be returning”.
After being contacted by KentOnline, bosses at Wildwood said “every reported incident is taken seriously” and apologised to Mr Egan for the “unacceptable delay” in responding.
A spokesperson said: “I would like to reassure you, that we consider the safety of our customers of primary importance and take any reported incidents with the utmost seriousness. Every situation is always fully investigated.
“It appears in this instance that there was an unacceptable delay in responding to the guest due to a miscommunication at branch level.
“This is a one-off situation, where the normal protocol of responding to the guest as the first action was missed.
“The agreed process in 99% of all situations is that the guest communication explaining the process runs concurrently with the initial investigation into the matter.”
Furthermore, Wildwood confirmed that “no other such incidents were reported”.
The spokesperson added: “We have apologised to the guest and explained that despite the lack of a timely response we are comprehensively investigating this unique occurrence.
“All supplies are logged and batches can be identified. This matter has been taken up with our suppliers to locate the source and isolate any further batches.
“As a further precautionary measure, we have passed this matter on to our external safety consultants for an additional third-party independent investigation. All findings will be shared with the guest as soon as they have been reported to us.
“I can confirm that fortunately no other such incidents have been recorded or reported to us. I must also stress that it is exceptionally rare that anything like this occurs, as we ensure that our suppliers meet the highest standards and that our health and safety processes are extremely robust.
“I regret the delay in responding directly to the guest, but I hope you understand that we have nonetheless taken the matter very seriously and apologise on behalf of our team and our suppliers for this unfortunate situation.”