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Rat Salad
imageTodd Haley, a Dallas Cowboys assistant coach, issued a lawsuit against McDonalds on Thursday. He alleges that his wife and au pair found a dead rat in their take-away salad this June.

The story goes that, on June 5th, Christine Haley and Kathryn Kelley ordered $14 of food, including the salad. They drove home, where they both ate some of the salad before uncovering a young, dead rat (pictured right, the rat has been digitally coloured to show up as blue).

The rat was determined to be a ‘roof rat’, a breed which live in the rafters and can pass on such diseases as bubonic plague and endemic typhus. The two women say they are haunted by this knowledge and fear they may have caught a disease. Mrs Haley was breastfeeding at the time, and switched to formula milk in case she passed illness to her child. She claims this caused her mental anguish.

Since eating salad that may have touched the rat and touching the dead rodent with their forks, the women have had difficulty keeping food down and can no longer go out to eat, the lawsuit states. They are forced to prepare their food "from scratch, allowing themselves to see each ingredient placed in the dish they are cooking," the suit states…
While neither woman has tested positive for any disease, both have been in counseling for the phobia and anticipate about a year more of therapy.

Tod Haley and the two women are suing the restaurant, the franchise owner and KLB Group for a minimum of $1.7 million in physical and mental pain and anguish.

(Thanks, Charybdis.)
Categories: AnimalsFoodGross
Posted by Boo on Mon Oct 30, 2006
Quote from 'Joe'

The woman was a moron and didn't deserve a penny.

I disagree. In our society today, I see the consumer as having MUCH LESS power than the giant corporations. Consumers need to fight occasionally to make sure that these corporations treat us as we should be treated.

I whole heartedly support this lawsuit concerning the salad rat. Then maybe McDonalds and other fast food chains will be EXTRA careful to make sure that rats or other grossities do not end up in the food they serve to us.
Posted by Grain  in  Bay Area, CA  on  Wed Nov 01, 2006  at  03:12 PM
I wonder, though...how liable THAT particular McDonald's was...b/c whenever I have gotten a salad, they are pre-packaged & they will not take anything out of it...(like if I want them to hold the tomato). Sooo...I wonder where the packaging was done?? It's not like the rat could have eaten through the plastic & died in the lettuce. You would notice a hole in the container...mostly b/c lettuce would be falling out!
Posted by Maegan  in  Tampa, FL - USA  on  Wed Nov 01, 2006  at  03:58 PM
Maegan, I have never worked at a McDonalds but I am pretty sure they are pre-made at the individual store, sort of an assembly line thing prior to the lunch rush.

I don't believe they are delivered to the stores pre-made or pre-packaged. I could be wrong but that strikes me as the logical way to go about it.
Posted by Chuck  in  Rhode Island  on  Wed Nov 01, 2006  at  04:52 PM
"Rat Salad happens to be a Black Sabbath song title..."

You mean the musicians from Black Sabbath have been eating at McDonalds?
Now THAT'S scary!
Posted by Big Gary  in  Pleasant Grove, Texas  on  Wed Nov 01, 2006  at  05:41 PM
outeast in Prague said:
"As to this specific rat - bubonc plague? Is that a big problem in Dallas these days?"

Well, now that you mention it, I've been feeling a bit under the weather, but it could be West Nile Virus.
You are still coming for Thanksgiving, aren't you? I'll make my special salad.
Posted by Big Gary  in  Dollars, Taxes  on  Wed Nov 01, 2006  at  07:55 PM
"I'm having trouble seeing the blue thing as a rat. It just looks like a big blue clump. Where's the head?"
--Posted by Razela in Tucson, AZ on Tue Oct 31, 2006


Well, <a >this might help a bit</a>. And the rat's belly-up.
Posted by Accipiter  on  Wed Nov 01, 2006  at  10:31 PM
hmmm... compensatory awards reflect monetary damages doen to the plaintiff, ie.: loss of wages, medical costs, the $14 for the meal, etc. Punitive awards are designed to (duh) punish the defendant so that the event will likely never happen again. Personally, if i found a rat in a MickeyMeal, I'd snap, puke, and sue, in that order. 1.7 mil? Hell, yes
Posted by Hairy Houdini  on  Wed Nov 01, 2006  at  10:48 PM
Punish McD's, whatever. Why should that go to the plaintiffs? I think you guys must be losing all sense of the value of money - ffs, it's a just rat! 1.7 mil? That's more than I'm likely to earn in my entire life! That's fucking insane... I'd rather find a rat in a salad than work for a week, let alone a lifetime:)

As to Meagan's 'preparing all food from scratch - takes a Hell of a lot of time to do.' Kerist, I routinely prepare almost all meals for my family from scratch. It really is not that big a deal. And I can't even afford an au pair:)

Anyway, this whole thing reeks - no way a whole rat would end up in a salad unspotted. I'd say this is either another con attempt or some employee with a grudge.
Posted by outeast  in  Prague  on  Thu Nov 02, 2006  at  02:48 AM
When you say "from scratch", I hope that means you aren't buying pre-made noodles, prepared pasta sauces, or already rolled & chilled pie crusts!!

Making things "from scratch" & preparing a meal from many sources of prepared items are very different. A "from scratch" casserole that uses packaged noodles, already shredded cheese, frozen veggies, & canned tuna is HARDLY "from scratch".

And I notice you said "almost"...so it's not quite THAT convenient to do IS IT? Keeping fresh items on hand to create a "from scratch" meal means lots of trips to the grocery store per week - I know our family will use up about 2-3 heads of romaine lettuce & about 6-8 tomatoes in a week. If I bought 6-8 tomatoes at a time, I'd have too mushy tomatoes at the end of the week & wilted lettuce after 3 or 4 days. So I still maintain that making EVERY meal from scratch would be quite the hassel.
Posted by Maegan  in  Tampa, FL - USA  on  Thu Nov 02, 2006  at  08:52 AM
I certainly never use ready-made sauces or pre-shredded cheese, no. Of course there's something to be said for the odd short-cut for convenience's sake when trying to ready a meal in the slim time between working late and putting the baby to bed, but the loss of such conveniences would not be so bad (there are plenty of meals that can be readied in only a few minutes, after all).

As to frozen veggies and ready-made noodles, I rather doubt that these women are refusing to eat pasta out of a packet*. Hell, maybe they are - maybe they're refusing to eat anything they don't pick from the trees themselves, but I really, really, really doubt it.

*And why stop there? Who knows what goes on in those mills... Or in the cornfields, yuk, I don't even want to think about that... Ah, breatharianism! That's more like it!
Posted by outeast  in  Prague  on  Thu Nov 02, 2006  at  09:13 AM
I have a question, when those salads are made up are they done in a factory or at the resturant? I just can't believe that you can find something like that these days. Oh yea one more thing, how big are those salads that you would not see something like that before you took a bite? come on something is just not right here!
Posted by FREEDOM LAD  in  OHIO  on  Thu Nov 02, 2006  at  04:10 PM
freedom, Maegan asked somewhat the same question earlier in this thread and I replied that while I didn't know for sure, I believe they are pre made at the individual restaurant.

Maybe someone who works(worked)for McRonalds knows for sure?
Posted by Chuck  in  Rhode Island  on  Thu Nov 02, 2006  at  04:40 PM
The bowl is pretty big. I have had them before...I would say the bowl is about as big around as a medium sized dinner plate. On the website it says the salads (no chicken) are around 8 ounces. With chicken, they are closer to 11-12 ounces. I know that 6 regular pieces of uncut romain lettuce can weight about 1.5-2 ounces total. Also, the lid is domed, so the whole package ends up being a good 4-6 inches high. Maybe. I haven't had one in a while.
Posted by Maegan  in  Tampa, FL - USA  on  Thu Nov 02, 2006  at  05:02 PM
Even if the salad is prepared in the actual restaurant, that doesn't mean that they don't get bags of pre-chopped and sliced lettuce and tomato and whatnot. It is possible, I suppose, for the rat to have gotten into the lettuce at the processing plant, been bagged, and then shipped to McDonald's.

So probably the rat could have gotten into the salad at several different times and places: at the processing plant for the vegetables, at the McDonald's (which I would think would really be the least likely place), or it could have been planted there when the people got home.
Posted by Accipiter  on  Thu Nov 02, 2006  at  05:37 PM
I had a salad with a live spider in it once... I went to poke my fork into the greens after eating about half of it... And the spider stuck its front legs up in the air defensively... I threw the salad away... it never came across my mind to sue anyone... and Im deathly afraid of spiders.

Course it wasnt a rat but...
Posted by Emidawg  on  Fri Nov 03, 2006  at  02:14 AM
Years ago I found a hunk of glass in a mug of beer at an Outback steak house - looking back I should have made a big stink about it - especially since all they did for me was take the beer off my bill.

Also had a roach in a chicken/pasta dish at a local diner - my wife, kids and I just got up and walked out.

We never went back and call it the "bug diner" whenever we pass by.
Posted by Mike  in  USA  on  Fri Nov 03, 2006  at  11:31 AM
Ty sez:
"Why is the rat colored blue? ..."

Bleu Cheese Dressing?
Posted by Big Gary  in  Edam, Texas  on  Fri Nov 03, 2006  at  11:51 AM
I cut open a Salisbury steak once and had a live cockroach crawl out of it, run across the table, drop to the floor, and scurry away. That worried me for a number of reasons. But I just told the manager that I wasn't going to pay for the (uneaten) meal and never went back there again. Perhaps I should have filed a joint lawsuit along with the roach, to cover the emotional trauma done to both of us.

Of course, then there are the dishes that are supposed to have bugs in them. . .I suppose I could sue for there not being a roach in one of those.
Posted by Accipiter  on  Fri Nov 03, 2006  at  02:13 PM
Back when my famliy first moved back to Texas my grandfather used to love going to eat at this buffet place. One night he took us out there and my mom found a fly in the gravy. The place is still open but we have never been back since.
Posted by Dany  in  Waco, Texas  on  Fri Nov 03, 2006  at  02:59 PM
one time, I went to eat a rat and there was a nasty ol' McD's burger in it...talk about disgusting.
Posted by Chuck  in  Rhode Island  on  Fri Nov 03, 2006  at  03:08 PM
This must be a con or a mad employee
Posted by nitedrive  in  sweden  on  Sun Nov 05, 2006  at  05:37 AM
So the rat is digitally turned blue to make it show up better? Ok... But why is it pressed flat as a piece of lettuce?

Anyway I think lawsuits over rats and roaches in food are warrented and acceptable. If I found a rat or especially a roach in my damn food I would be pretty riled. Maybe 1.7 mil is a bit much, but hey, it's McDonald's, milk them for all you can get. And if they raise their prices to cover their asses then fine... the whole issue will just drive people away from the slop hole.
Posted by Queequeg Mulder  on  Sun Nov 05, 2006  at  03:01 PM
In the U.S. a parent has the right to bring a malpractice suit against a doctor/med facility for a really long time after a surgery or other medical procedure, since possible problems may not occur until the child begins to develop further.

I have 8 years I think to sue my OB/GYN if my daughter develops problems as a result of the c-section. (Like oxygen deprivation & stuff...)
Posted by Maegan  in  Tampa, FL - USA  on  Mon Nov 06, 2006  at  02:32 PM
Agreed.
I was at a restraurant/bar with my wife having dinner when a patron drink at the bar vomitted. It was gross, and I was then shocked that they then continued to serve him more alcohol. I did not ask for millions. We just stopped eating there.
Posted by wdl  in  honolulu  on  Thu Nov 09, 2006  at  07:42 PM
I would believe that load of bullshit if the rat wasnt Blue, and if they let the courts test the rat to see how long its been dead.
Posted by Othiamba Moore  in  Philadelphia, Pennsylvania  on  Tue Nov 21, 2006  at  10:50 PM
I had trouble believing a 6 inch rat would go unnoticed too but the story said it was a juvenile so the 6 inches had to include the tail which would mean the body must have only been a couple of inches long or so, that's the only way the "6 inch juvenile rat" part makes sense to me.

as far as the law suit and pain and suffering, they didnt say how the rat died. maybe it's guts were sprawled all over the salad or maybe it crawled in to the lettuce or something after eating a poisonous bait, there's lots of things we dont know and there's things to worry about apart from the gross out factor especially if you start feeling sick afterwards.

no sympathy here for mcd's, and if the prices go up then maybe some of the people who live on this junk will go and eat a proper meal.
Posted by pamby  on  Wed Dec 06, 2006  at  10:59 AM
I think a 6-inch rat probably would be a juvenile. A mature roof rat measures saomething like one foot three inches nose to tail...
Posted by outeast  on  Wed Dec 06, 2006  at  11:26 AM
what I meant was if the body was 6inches it would be hard to miss, if the rat was 6 inches from head to tail then the body would only be a couple of inches long and small and easy to miss at first
Posted by pamby  on  Wed Dec 06, 2006  at  08:40 PM
I prepared a frozen bag of vegtables this week and bit down on something very hard, After examination, i TRULY believe its a RAT BACKBONE. I plan on sueing the &*^%&% out of the company. I can not eat, im just SICK and can not get it off my mind.........I have cried.......... and Im going to run all the way to the BANK...Im having the "EXTRA MEAT" tested this week..!!!!!!!!
Posted by Sharon  in  Roanoke, Va  on  Fri Jun 13, 2008  at  01:35 AM
I WENT TO MCDONALDS TODAY AND ORDERED TWO APPILE PIES IN ONE OF THAM I FOUND A DEAD SPIDER I ATE SOME OF IT AND GOT VERY SICK WHAT CAN I DO ABOUT THIS.
Posted by Jackie  in  HAZARD  on  Thu Sep 03, 2009  at  05:40 PM
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