On April 5, we had a bitter experience. 😦 I bought 4 Chicken Asado siopao and 2 take-out orders of Lomi (a favorite noodle recipe ) from this known food outlet / bakeshop in downtown Bacolod. It had been a long morning and a productive one. So, I decided to go home early and bring an instant lunch for my 3 equally-busy daughters,a treat of sort.
At home,Clay and I enjoyed our shares that we even prodded my eldest daughter, Chickie, to take a break from her work and come home to join us. She gladly did. But Angel decided to eat her share after their La Salle workshop late in the afternoon.
As she did, she suddenly felt some crunch ‘like egg shells’, and took a look at her siopao. This blue-green, shiny-shelled bug was ONE BITE AWAY to be the next crunch!!I it’s a good thing this bug was not ingested by my daughter!
I took Angel with me and we immediately filed a complaint against the food outlet that very evening ,about 7:00 pm. The lady branch manager, Ms.V., was receptive and seeing the specimen, she assured to report it at once to their owner’s son, Mr. A.C., whom she said is their Operations Manager.
From there, Angel and I had the incident blottered at the Philippine National Police Station called BAC-UP 4 in Barangay Villamonte . The documentation is only ‘for future reference‘ in case the food outlet’s management would deny. I requested the police officers to keep the complaint from the media while I haven’t talked to the concerned yet and they granted it.
Since my daughter was the one who ate the siopao, she was advised by the police officer-in-charge to file the complaint, with me as her witness.
April 6: We reported the incident to the Department of Health’s Environmental Sanitation Division which has authority over business permits and inspection.Thanks to my cousin, Miss Jam Isidto,who referred me to her supervisor, Sanitation Inspector IV Ms.Lolamae Gebusion .
Gebusion efficiently referred me to a laboratory in 6th Street where a Medical Technologist named Marla would help me find out if this bug is poisonous or not.
She assured us that a DOH team will inspect the said food outlet immediately and they will inform me of the result. Should there be violations confirmed, she said, the outlet’s permit renewal will be held and the management will be penalized.
April 6- Me on the phone, talking to the outlet’s owner,Mr. A.C.
Meanwhile, Mr. A.C. ,the son of the owner (the outlet’s Operations Manager) profusely apologized in our phone conversation earlier . I politely demanded for full refund and he obliged immediately. In the latter part, as if to save his dignity as proprietor, he mentioned that they have the latest equipment and facilities to assure the paying public of high-quality service.
To this, I gave him a gentle reproach that no matter how high-tech their facilities and equipment would be, once the person/s behind these will be grossly negligent or lackadaisical, any bug would end up inside their siopao as what happened in our case. I am glad he took the reproach and again apologized that it will never happen again.
After the phone conversation, we returned to the outlet. Ms.V. refunded me the total amount of all items I had ordered,as instructed to her by Mr. A.C. As Angel and I headed to the door, Ms.V. suddenly asked us to choose ‘any cake of any size ‘ we want.
“It is Mr.A.C.’s way of making up for your time and effort in coming back about this embarrassing incident”, she said in our Ilonggo dialect.
Obviously, it’s a peace pipe but I declined.Not for fear of more possible bugs, but for sense of propriety. Instead, I asked them to give their cake to ,at the least, 10 indigent children to appease their guilt and Ms.V. assured they will do it.
Whatever that ‘crunch‘ that my poor Angel felt while eating and how that bug entered the the ill-fated siopao yesterday will both remain a mystery,
Something to bug us for life.