Amarillo family finds opiate pills in Cheddar's pasta dish
Celebrating three-year-old's Germany's birthday with a family dinner at Cheddar's, her mom Brittani McGhee-Smith never imagined her daughter would be exposed to what she believes was opiate-infested pasta.
"I was in the state of just panic, just numbness, just because I wanted to make sure she was fine," said McGhee-Smith.
McGhee's grandfather, James, found two opiate pills in the leftovers later that night.
"They were right there when I opened it," said James McGhee.
Not recognizing the pills, McGhee-Smith did some research.
"I Googled the letters and numbers and stuff that was on the tablets, and it said that they were Tramadol, 50 milligram," said McGhee-Smith.
The City of Amarillo Environmental Health Department said it did an inspection the same day a complaint was filed. Through staff interviews and examination, investigators said they found personal medication was being kept on the food prep line at Cheddar's.
"There are the two tablets with the marinara sauce on it," McGhee-Smith said showing the picture from when the pills were first discovered.
Though the city said only a bottle of Advil was seen during its visit, McGhee-Smith said no one in her home has been prescribed Tramadol.
"I feel like it's something that needs to be monitored closely," she said. "And not just their establishment, anybody's establishment."
In a statement Cheddar's told ABC 7:
"The health and safety of our guests and team members is one of our top priorities and we take this situation very seriously. Unfortunately, the guest has been unwilling to help us in our investigation to determine how this may have happened. Regardless, we have partnered with the health department to meet with our entire team to review and reinforce our personal items storage practices."
The complaint was filed nearly four weeks after the incident, but McGhee-Smith said she is willing to speak with Cheddar's. She said she's been advised to only do so with an adviser there. Right now, McGhee-Smith said she just wants more accountability.
"I don't feel like enough coaching or education was done," McGhee-Smith said. "I don't feel like enough reprimanding was done."