Dubai: An Indian family dining at a French restaurant is furious after they were served a crawling worm in a salad and worse – charged for it as well.

Archana Agarwal, 39, said she found a worm creeping out of a raspberry in a salad she ordered at the French fine dining restaurant Fournil de Pierre on October 19.

“It was my husband’s birthday and we decided to hit the restaurant on Shaikh Zayed Road.”

Archana said she was halfway through her Salade de Chevre Chau when she spotted the worm trying to wiggle out of a raspberry. “I had already eaten a couple of raspberries before and I felt like throwing up. Prateek (Archana’s husband) called a waitress to show her the raspberry with the worm. The lady simply looked at my plate and asked if she should take it away,” Archana said.

“Her casual attitude irked us even more and Prateek asked to speak to the chef. She refused and took the plate away from us. Then for some reason she came back with the plate with the worm in the salad intact – and said it was common to find worms in raspberries. We were shocked,” she said.


Worm expense

Prateek then took a video of the worm curling out of the raspberry and asked for the bill. “When I saw the bill I was shocked to find that the restaurant had charged us for the salad. I was so upset I made the waitress write on the bill that they served us worms and charged us for it too. It’s a shame how we were treated,” said Prateek.

“On our way out one of the staff at the bakery counter told us to pick whatever we wanted for free. But we just needed the restaurant to admit their mistake and be sorry for it,” he added.

The family lodged a complaint with Dubai Municipality. “We called the DM’s toll-free number and their staff was very helpful. The next morning, the DM inspectors called us and asked if we had any proof. We immediately shared the video and the bill. They said they would investigate,” said Archana. Sultan Ali Taher, Head of the Food Inspection section at the municipality’s food control department, said: “People who come across such incidents must report it by calling 800900. Our inspectors will then call the complainant and take down details of the restaurant. A DM inspector will then visit the site and decide whether to give a warning or issue a fine to the restaurant.

“Complainants must have valid proof – like a photo or a video to prove their claim. Every violation is dealt with differently. First time offenders are given a warning notice. But they will be fined for a second offence.”


Restaurant’s statement

A spokesperson for Fournil de Pierre said : The worm was found in a sanitized pack that is purchased from a supplier. The raspberries are served whole and used as a topping for the salad. Since the incident, the outlet has taken various measures to ensure this does not happen again including reprimanding and discontinuing the relationship with the supplier over quality control issues. We also invited Dubai Municipality for a kitchen inspection. Apologies were offered by members of the staff and even the bill was to have been waived as a complimentary meal. However, the customer insisted on paying it while being extremely aggressive and even threatening the staff. Offensive language was also used and the incident has been captured on CCTV. The Outlet manager as well as the Operations Manager both exchanged calls and whatsapp messages with the customer, references of these are available. A free dessert was also offered on top of the complimentary meal offer. Our customers’ health and safety are our utmost priority and this is visible in our processes, staff and way of working. We will continue to improve and build on the feedback we receive.