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MONTGOMERY, AL (WSFA) -
It's a story that will make you cringe. A Montgomery woman says bugs came with her meal when ordering fast food. Her complaint got the attention of the health department. Now, the Wendy's franchise owner is taking this very seriously.
Dolores McCall says she got more than what she ordered at the Wendy's fast food restaurant on Madison Avenue in Montgomery March 27.
"I looked...I see antlers..." McCall recalled.
The incident started Wednesday at 11:25 when McCall and a co-worker grabbed a quick lunch and headed back to the office. She ordered chicken nuggets and a baked potato.
"I thought it was going to be a potato that was being sprouted out again. So I said, Oh my goodness, it looks like bugs. They were stuck. It looks like they're cooked in the skin ,and it wasn't just one or two. It's like a few of them around on the side," McCall explained.
McCall says this was not her first time visiting that particular Wendy's, but she says it was the first time she got food with roaches. She quickly snapped a photo of it on her cell phone and called the Alabama Health Department to file a complaint.
"And I tell you I had a rough day ever since, and when I talk about it's really devastating. It's crazy that they serve that. I mean I didn't have lunch that day. I had to take medicine to calm me and some for my stomach," McCall admitted..
WSFA 12 News obtained a copy of McCall's complaint, along with inspection reports from that Wendy's on Madison Avenue.
Documents reveal inspectors investigated the potato complaint on the same day, and on March 28th the report found roaches in the restaurant. Another report reveals the establishment was already under a notice of violation for "presence of insects" on March 22nd.
"We do not "shut down" an establishment for "presence of insects" but they do have to correct the issue within a certain time limit," explained Leigh Salter with the Montgomery County Health Department. "We gave them 10 days, so they are within that limit, and that's why they were not issued another citation when we found roaches again on March 28th."
Wendy's Franchise Owner Rick Reynolds says while he doesn't feel the inspection results and the potato incident are connected, he did acknowledge the ongoing effort to rid the location from insects and roaches. Reynolds says he believes the potato contains sprouts and not roaches, as the customer believes.
"The pictures have been sent to Ohio State University to a research anthologist who basically states in his opinion these are sprouts. Our potatoes come to us pre-cleaned and pre-wrapped in foil. There's no way for us to get a sprout off. We don't see it until after it's baked. And unfortunately this wasn't seen when it was put into a potato container and given to a customer," Reynolds said.
After McCall fully examined the potato for the first time with WSFA 12 News. "I'm telling you it gives me the shakes to do this, but we are just going to move it just to see if there are any under the bottom. And it is some more. It is a few more, Ok oh my gosh," McCall explained as she looked at the food.
"I mean I'm happy to pay for an independent study. If you take this to a lab and have this researched, I'm grateful for paying for it and let's find out what this really is," Reynolds said.
The health inspection noted a follow-up will be done with this Wendy's location on April 2nd.
WSFA 12 News will check back in then to see the progress of the effort to rid the roaches.