Ralph Wettstein, a Costco member, is claiming that he bit into box cutter blades found in pieces of Lilydale brand boneless chicken bought from the big box retailer. CTV reports that the incident happened in October when Ralph and his wife Valerie cooked the poultry that was purchased two weeks prior from a Calgary, Canada Costco. Ralph explained to CTV, "I bite into the chicken and I feel something crunch in, in the right side of my mouth and I say, ‘Oh, I think I got a bone in this." Moments later when he examined it, he discovered it wasn’t a bone. His wife Valerie recalled, “When he spit it out and said, 'Oh my God Val, it's a razor blade.’ It was just like, it was surreal.”
Luckily, Ralph sustained no bodily damage from the foreign objects in his food, but the blades did take off part of a tooth on his dental bridge. The dental device actually stopped the blades from cutting his gums. At the time Mr. Wettstein was also on blood thinners following a recent heart surgery. Doctors told him it was fortunate that he didn’t swallow the sharp metal because he could very well have died from it.
The couple contacted Costco who, following what appeared to be initial concern, redirected them to Lilydale, the company that packaged the chicken. Lilydale then investigated and said the blades could not have come from their plants because they don’t use box cutter blades like the ones found. To which Ralph said, “I’m starting to get upset because no one’s really taking this serious.”
Lynda Steele from CTV’s Steele on Your Side, stepped in and called Lilydale and talked to company spokesperson Stephanie Gillis-Paulgaard. She did not comment on the possibility of a blade getting into their products, but was quick to say that there was no need to change the plant protocol. However, when Steele asked the Lilydale rep if their products were “completely safe,” the question received a delayed, “Yes.”
“I said, ‘Listen, I’ll take a lie detector test no, no problem.’ But I said, ‘So you’re either saying I’m lying or it’s Costco,’" said the frustrated customer. When Steele contacted Costco they also denied responsibility. Costco pokesperson Ron Damiani said, “We don’t allow the particular metal implement that he was talking about, we don’t allow it anywhere near any of our fresh departments.” Mr. Damiani said he could not comment further because of the customer’s possible legal action.
But Lynda Steele was able to work out a deal in which Ralph would not take legal action in exchange for C$500 compensation for the damage to his dental bridge. While Costco did not respond, Lilydale accepted the deal and recognized that they could have handled the incident better. Ralph has vowed to never purchase that product again.
Video and more info: CTV