Wendy’s Takes a Bite Out of Foreign Object Claim

April 15, 2005

Wendy’s President and Chief Operating Officer Tom Mueller commented Friday on the continuing police investigation into the recent incident in a Wendy’s restaurant in San Jose, California involving a foreign object found in a bowl of chili:

“Our independent franchisees and their employees in the San Francisco Bay area are the real victims. They have been especially hard hit by the negative publicity caused by the incident. They’ve done nothing wrong, yet they are paying a severe price with sales down significantly in the area. Our franchisees have had to lay off some employees and reduce workers’ hours.

“Our brand reputation has been affected nationally. We are determined to find out what really happened in this incident.

“There is no credible evidence that Wendy’s is the source of the foreign object. We have conducted a thorough internal investigation and we remain very confident in our quality control measures. Law enforcement officers have interviewed our employees in the San Jose store and no one has suffered a hand injury. The employees passed lie detector tests. Furthermore, we confirmed with our suppliers that no hand injuries were reported in their production process. The Santa Clara Department of Environmental Health inspected the restaurant and gave us a clean bill of health.”

According to Mueller, “Based on reports, the claimant is no longer pursuing a claim against Wendy’s, and her original attorney is no longer representing her. “This individual has filed several lawsuits against other organizations in recent years.”

Wendy’s is reportedly offering a $100,000 reward for the first person providing verifiable information into the origin of the foreign object found in a bowl of chili on March 22, 2005, at the Wendy’s restaurant at 1405 Monterey Rd. in San Jose. This is an increase from the original offer of $50,000 announced in the last week.

“Today, we began running newspaper ads highlighting the reward offer and our toll-free phone number (1-800-821-3348),” said Mueller. “We believe somebody knows exactly what happened and we hope the reward will encourage this person to come forward soon.”

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