Visitor Question

Sharp foreign object found in my Subway sandwich…

Submitted By: Sue (Battle Creek, MI)

While eating a Subway sandwich I bit down on something hard and felt something in my mouth.

My first thought was one of my new crowns came out.

What I took out of my mouth was a black item.

One end looks like a screw and the other is SHARP like a tack. It is 1/2 inch long.

If it had been standing up it would have “pierced” my mouth, or if I had swallowed it it could have damaged my intestines.

My grandchildren also had sandwiches and if one of them had this in their sandwich I’m sure they might have swallowed it, not knowing to take it out.

Upon contacting them they couldn’t imagine what it was but ended up calling me the next day saying they believed it to be part of a “piercing” belonging to an employee.

On Monday I took the item into the manager at the store so she could see it and not just have it described to her.

She apologized and tried to guess which vegetable item container it was probably in.

She offered me a replacement sandwich. I told her this was not like finding a “hair” in your sandwich.

She told me the owner of the store would be contacting me.

It’s now 9 days later and I’ve heard nothing, which has added to my anger.

I believe they have some liability here and to just ignore me like this was nothing but disrespectful. What liability do they have and what can I do about this? Thanks.

Disclaimer: Our response is not formal legal advice and does not create an attorney-client relationship. It is generic legal information based on the very limited information provided. Do not rely upon the information in our response, or anywhere else on this site, when deciding the proper course of a legal matter. Always get a personalized case review from a local attorney.


Dear Sue,

Dropping part of an earring into food meant for public consumption displayed negligence. Moreover, the manager tacitly admitted the negligence by stating the piece of metal was part of an employee’s piercing. That negligence could have resulted in a serious injury to your mouth, throat, stomach, and/or intestinal tract.

Commercial establishments, including restaurants, operate under the legal doctrine of Premises Liability. This legal doctrine applies in all 50 states. The doctrine holds restaurant owners liable for injuries caused to customers as a result of the restaurant’s negligence.

Under the doctrine of premises liability, restaurant owners have a legal “duty of care” to do everything within reason to protect their customers from undue harm and injury. This includes taking appropriate measures to assure the food being served is free from contaminants.

When a restaurant owner fails to take the reasonable measures necessary to protect a customer, and as a result that customer is unduly harmed or injured, that failure is considered a breach of the restaurant owner’s legal duty of care. That breach translates to the owner’s negligence.

Thus, the injured customer is entitled to compensation for the injuries sustained, including compensation for medical bills and related expenses.

Fortunately you did not fully ingest the earring, or part of the earing. Instead, you were able to remove it from your mouth before swallowing it.

While there is no obvious dispute over the origin of the earring, without an injury you do not have the basis of a personal injury claim. For there to be a legitimate basis for a claim of negligence resulting in personal injury will require proof of some form of injury.

While no one would dispute the anxiety you must have felt upon discovering the piece of the hearing, that anxiety did not rise to the level required for a compensable injury.

Subway is a privately held company. Its corporate headquarters address and contact information is as follows:

Franchise World Headquarters 325 Sub Way Milford, CT 06461-3059 Ph: 203.877.4281 -or- Ph: 800.888.4848 Contact Subway

Learn more here: Food-Related Injury Claims

The above is general information. Laws change frequently, and across jurisdictions. You should get a personalized case evaluation from a licensed attorney.

Find a local attorney to give you a free case review here, or call 888-972-0892.

We wish you the best with your claim,


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