(CMR) Canton Restaurant has proactively reached out to Cayman Marl Road to address food quality concerns after a customer found a “maggot” in her lunch on October 25. CMR originally reported on the incident which was posted to Allie Ebanks Facebook page.
The restaurant has admitted that their normal processes did not work in this instance and they have taken full responsibility for the matter. They have also located the direct source of the insects.
Turns out the insect was not a maggot at all but a worm often found in vegetables. As a result of the complaint; and subsequent viral post on CMR, Canton undertook an extensive investigation into the matter and has now updated us with the results.
Firstly, they indicate that their on-duty manager did issue a full meal refund, apology and offered to compensate for another meal. However, the owners do not feel that was sufficient to address the concerns of the diner. They admitted that because she left unaware of the source of the worm and how it got in her meal; this was not a satisfactory outcome:
“Our manager thought that by issuing Ms. Alison a refund plus offering to compensate another meal of her choice for free, would've been sufficient enough.”
Canton subsequently went through all of their products and identified the worm and where it came from. They further explained that they sound several other worms after the incident came to their attention. They have informed us that the worms are relatively common in the fresh product but they have a multi-step process that customarily would remove the worms before cooking.
Food prep procedures include initially soaking the vegetables for about 10-15 minutes before cutting them to size and trimming any brown spots. That is followed up by another wash, cut and drying before storing in the ingredient freezer.
During the last phase; right before using the vegetables, they do a final quick flash boil and a rinse of the vegetables. This quick flash allows it to partially cook before adding them to the dish they are making and then stir fry it.
This process usually removes all the impurities from the vegetables. They have subsequently contacted Ms. Ebanks and apologized again as well as provide a full explanation and additional photos of their findings.
They did identify some other worms in their broccoli supply and have also implemented new steps in how they will handle produce and advised their suppliers.
“To be 100% safe for our customer we have since temporary stopped using Broccoli in all our dishes. We still continue to find a large amount of these worms hidden inside the stems of the Broccoli and its very difficult to see them and guarantee the safety of our customers. We will wait till we feel the quality of the products are up to our standards before allowing it back on our menu.
We have daily deliveries for all our poultry and produce as I have provided invoices with delivery dates to show Ms. Alison we order all our meats and vegetables daily.”
Whilst stating the worm is not harmful and is not a maggot they did say that they were appreciative of how unsightly and disturbing the incident would have been.
The post immediately went viral with over 6,900 views on CMR alone and numerous comments on our Facebook page. The morning after the Department of Environmental Health (DEH) did an early morning inspection of the entire restaurant and found no issues.
They have shared the findings of that report with Ebanks. To further re-assure her they also sent her evidence of monthly pest control visits.