Bakery Customer Sustains Serious Injuries From Ingesting Foreign Object in Pastry


Food Safety Expert WitnessThis case involves a plaintiff in Oklahoma who became severely ill after ingesting a piece of metal wire that had been baked inside of a cheese danish. The plaintiff had purchased the danish from a bakery, where the pastry’s wrapper was noted to be intact at the time of purchase. The man noticed small pieces of metal in the pastry after he had consumed half of it, and began to experience severe gastrointestinal pain a few hours later. It was discovered that the man had suffered a significant gastric perforation, which required multiple surgeries to correct and resulted in a massive infection.

Question(s) For Expert Witness

  • 1. Please describe your experience in food safety as it relates to this setting.

Expert Witness Response E-101627

As an academic I instruct on food service or food product industry management’s roles in food preparation to eliminate the 3 types of food borne hazards: biological, chemical and most relevant to this case, physical hazards. As a risk management professional and private consultant, I provide technical guidance on identifying and eliminating potential liabilities to clients’ products and operational procedures. This industry can opt to use a myriad of technologies and techniques to detect and remove unintended contaminants from the food supply including magnetic mechanisms and metal detection, as well as and various radiography technologies. Common breakdowns can occur at any point along the flow of the product from production to retail plating / service. Within the scope of a food safety professor for past 15 years, I have lectured on prevention of contaminants and controls of potentially injurious physical hazards in foods including metal objects.

Expert Witness Response E-101583

I am a food manufacturing safety expert with extensive knowledge in practices, prevention programs, employee training and standards in the industry. I teach International HACCP Alliance and FSMA FSPCA Preventive Control for Human Food with 21 years in food safety manufacturing, growing and distribution. Protocols and prevention programs to reduce hazardous extraneous material should have been applied here. Food Safety Plans should identify anticipated and unanticipated food safety issues if they are part of the product. (i.e. Salmonella in raw cookie dough if consumers eat it). If the pastry was made in a processing facility, metal detectors and x-rays are common to prevent foreign object contamination. If it was made in a kitchen, they may not follow the same ‘standards’ for prevention as manufacturers do. I lecture on foreign material issues regularly.

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