Applebee's served a four-inch dead lizard as part of a salad last week. The McLean County Health Department investigated the surprise garnish and found that while "management confirmed it did happen," "it’s just one of those extraordinary circumstances," and that the restaurant was not at fault.
Asked whether the health department thought the lizard came with the lettuce, or whether it was placed with the lettuce later, Davis said, “I don’t want to speculate or place blame.”
The health department has not fined or sanctioned the restaurant, Davis said. The sanitarian’s investigation revealed that nothing appeared out of the ordinary and that Applebee’s staff did nothing wrong, she said.
Employees showed how they wash the lettuce, cut it, then wash it again. “They couldn’t fathom how it (a lizard) got through the process…and they profusely apologized,” Davis said.
Applebee's officials promised that "the report was being taken very seriously."