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Woman Finds Frog In Her Salad (Photos)

| by Sarah Zimmerman

A California woman was shocked and disgusted when she found a frog in her salad at a BJ's restaurant. 

Shawna Cepeda wrote a Yelp review of her experience at the West Covina restaurant on June 14, saying her salad tasted bitter.

"I was about 4 bites into it and I noticed it tasted a little different I thought maybe the ranch dressing was a little bitter and after mixing the salad around some more I found a dead baby frog," she wrote. "Yes I said FROG!"

She alerted restaurant management, which disposed of the frog in accordance with Los Angeles County Department of Public Health mandates, according to the San Gabriel Valley Tribune. A week after the incident, health code inspectors found no health code violations at the restaurant.

"Guest satisfaction and quality control are our highest priorities," said Gabriel Levin, BJ's chief financial officer. "We take situations like this very seriously."

He added that the company has begun an internal investigation and will be speaking with suppliers and distributors "to ensure that nothing like this happens in the future."   

In her Yelp post, Cepeda said she didn't have to pay for her meal, but the restaurant asked her to pay for her drinks. After speaking with BJ's corporate office, she received a $50 gift card.

Frogs can carry salmonella and other bacteria known to make people sick, notes the San Gabriel Valley Tribune. 

"I can’t believe not only did it go through [their] produce vendor’s hands, but your hands and nobody happened to notice," Cepeda said.

Cepeda was also bothered that the restaurant staff didn't notify other customers that the lettuce in their salads could have come from the same produce bag and may have been contaminated. 

"It was a pretty full house," she noted. "There was a lot of kids there and I think that’s what has been bugging me the most."

Ever since dining at the restaurant, she says that she's been feeling ill. On June 19, she visited a doctor who confirmed that she didn't have salmonella, but may be dealing with a bacterial infection. She has been prescribed antibiotics. 

"I’ve been burping nonstop, everything I eat has been making me sick. I don’t even want to look at salad," she said.

Cepeda and her family used to dine at BJ's twice a month, but she says that she will not be coming back.

Los Angeles County Department of Public Health spokeswoman Katie Martel said that the restaurant's produce supplier, True Leaf Farms, is not located in the county. The details of the incident have been forwarded to the California Department of Public Health, which may investigate the issue further.   

The restaurant manager has scheduled a meeting with the supplier to talk about the "potential adulteration of product being distributed."

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