(VIRGIN ISLANDS NEWS ONLINE) – A nail found in a bowl of steak sauce at Brandywine Estate Restaurant in Brandywine Bay and a small lizard in a loaf of freshly baked bread purchased from Josh Bakery in Road Town created a media frenzy across the territory. Both incidents occurred last week.
The first incident was posted on Facebook by Tortola resident Stuart Donovan, tagging Deputy Director of Tourism Rhondi A. Skelton, detailing the incident which occurred at Brandywine Estate Restaurant.
Nail in steak sauce
“I am not all about posting everything on social media, so I thought long about this post. I recently had dinner at Brandywine Bay Restaurant and to my Horror ended up with an Old RUSTY NAIL in my food. After the apologies from management still can’t get over or understand how.”
Brandywine Estate Restaurant, in response said they took immediate actions following Mr Donavan’s complaint by firstly taking ownership and apologising and offering compensation and in a release, described the incident as a freak accident.
“We take all incidences of food contamination incredibly seriously. We have been in the restaurant business for over 25 years, 8 of which in the BVI. Regis Bourdon, the head-chef was trained to a very high standard in France and has worked all over Europe, the UK, America and the Caribbean. He also served over 12,000 free meals to children in the aftermath of Hurricane Irma (with no roof). This is the first time anything like this has ever happened and so we can only conclude that it was a freak accident.”
The restaurant then informed that contact was made with the Department of Environmental Health to explain the incident and invited them to inspect our premises. “They conducted a full inspection at lunchtime today and concluded that our premises are in excellent condition, above the standard they require. They cannot find any reason for the incident, concluding that it was a one-off, unexplained accident. Should you wish to speak to them directly about their inspection, we invite you to do so.”
Further, “We have also arranged for Rufred Forbes to inspect the premises to ensure that there are no loose objects that could potentially fall into the food that we prepare. In addition, our staff are on-site today (on a day we are usually closed), conducting a thorough inspection,” stated the restaurant’s management.
The Department of Environmental Health confirmed the restaurant’s statement, adding that they re-created the scene and found it to not have been deliberate. Appearing on JTV, Chief Environmental Health Officer Lionel E. Michael said, “The results of the testing indicate that this explanation could have been plausible. The Environmental Health Department has concluded that the presence of the nail in the food was an unintended accident.”
Lizard in bread
Shortly after, via WhatsApp, the incident of a bread contaminated with a little lizard baked in the bread started going viral.
The female who purchased the bread was seen showing the startling discovery to someone who videotaped the bread with the lizard inside then followed the woman to the bakery and videotaped her lodging her complaint to the owner, who appeared startled.
Many bashed the restaurant and the bakery but there were also those who thought it was not necessary for them to go public with the incidents but should have rather dealt with it in private with the two establishments.
In the case of Josh Bakery, which sits in the heart of Road Town, Michael said the case is still under investigation, “What we found there this morning did not indicate to us that things are such that would have led to that to the lizard in the bread.”
“Lizard has no place in a restaurant. It’s not like roaches and rats and flies and so on, its lizards and they get into places from time to time and what has to happen is that management has to ensure that they have systems in place that do not allow them to get into food that they prepare for people.”
He stressed, “And so vigilance, inspection and thoroughness are key in these establishments. They are unfortunate incidents.”
Management of Josh Bakery could not be reached for comment.
Mr Michael applauded the resident for lodging the complaint with the department and called on others to do the same whenever they come across similar incidents be it at bakeries, eating houses, shops or otherwise.
Mr Michael said both reports by the two residents were not fabricated but were factual, based on their investigations.