McDonald's Customer Gets Chicken Head

N E W P O R T   N E W S, Va., Nov. 30, 2000 -- A Newport News woman got an unwanted surprise in a box of wings she bought from McDonald’s.

While placing the bite-sized pieces on plates for her children Tuesday night, Katherine Ortega says she pulled out a whole chicken head.

The head — including the beak, eyes and comb — had been breaded, fried, and placed in the box with the wings.

“I noticed that it had a beak and it had eyes,” Ortega told the Daily Press in Hampton Roads, Va. “I screamed.”

No More Appetite

Ortega said she called McDonald’s Tuesday night after finding the head. She was told she could return the chicken for a refund or another box.

But she declined, saying she lost her appetite.

“There’s no way I wanted another chicken box,” Ortega said.

Ortega said she fixed grilled cheese sandwiches for her family. “I will probably cook at home from now on,” she said.

John Smith, who owns the franchise in Newport News, says he’s taking the allegation seriously.

“We are currently conducting a thorough investigation to gather all the facts and determine what further action is necessary,” Smith said.

Ortega says she isn’t sure if she’ll file a lawsuit. But she said that she contacted the Food and Drug Administration for advice on handling the incident. A manager at the McDonald’s where she bought the chicken refused comment Wednesday night. Corporate officials couldn’t be reached for comment.