Wilted lettuce saves woman from nasty shock

By Chloe Johnson

Charlotte Westerhof, above, found a shard of metal, below, in her Habitual Fix wrap. Photo / Jason Dorday
Charlotte Westerhof, above, found a shard of metal, below, in her Habitual Fix wrap. Photo / Jason Dorday

Charlotte Westerhof wasn't impressed with the wilted lettuce in her vegetarian wrap - but that lettuce saved her from serious injury.

Westerhof was picking out the lettuce in a wrap she'd bought from Habitual Fix on Auckland's Queen St when she discovered a large jagged piece of metal in the salad.

"I was pulling it out and about half way into the wrap there was this big V-shaped, jagged, chunky metal thing," Westerhof said.

"I was like, 'what the hell is that?' I was pretty horrified and disgusted. My first thought was, 'what if I had bitten into that?' It would have done some damage."

Westerhof said it was a mystery how the metal got into the salad because she watched staff make the wrap.

She posted photos on the Habitual Fix Facebook page and contacted the Auckland District Health Board, which informed the Ministry of Agriculture and Forestry (MAF). An investigation revealed the metal had come from the corner of a wooden photoframe which wasn't commonly found in New Zealand.

Habitual Fix owner James Tucker said he undertook internal audits which included his suppliers' factories. "The most obvious likely source, as agreed by MAF, was our lettuce supplier. My business partner and I undertook a full audit of the factory and found their standards to be extremely high," Tucker said.

"We reviewed the camera footage for the entire 24-hour period before and just after the incident and could not identify any item being dropped into our ingredient display bench. Neither MAF nor our investigations were able to locate any likely source of the item."

Tucker said it was the only such incident in the company's four-year history.

- Herald on Sunday

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