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Nando's apologises for giving woman voucher after she was hospitalised coughing up blood following meal

Nando's apologises for giving woman voucher after she was hospitalised coughing up blood following meal

The restaurant chain has invited the customer back for a complimentary meal

Nando's has apologised for offering a voucher to a woman who was left coughing up blood following a meal at one of the chain's restaurants in Australia.

The customer, who has been identified only by the name Madison, was eating a paella at a Nando's restaurant in Melbourne on 10 July when she swallowed something sharp.

Madison said the 'super sharp' object went down the middle of her oesophagus and 'felt like it was lodged there', prompting her to run to the bathroom to try and cough it up.

Madison was eating a paella when she swallowed the object.
Maurice Savage/Alamy Stock Photo

She couldn't seem to dislodge the object and instead was coughing up blood, with the pain leaving her unable to speak.

Speaking to 9News, she recalled: "I couldn't talk - every time I said anything it felt like a piece of glass was cutting my throat."

A staff member at the restaurant asked Madison if she was okay and apologised for the situation, after which Madison's father took her to hospital. She was prioritised in the emergency department and underwent an X-ray, a camera down her throat and a CT scan, but doctors couldn't find the object in her throat and suggested it had passed through it already.

Madison declined the doctor's offer to put her under anaesthetic so her throat could be examined, but the pain and discomfort meant she 'couldn't speak' and 'could barely swallow' for a week afterwards.

Two days after the incident, she wrote an email to Nando's to make them aware of the incident but stressed she was 'not asking for anything'.

Weeks later, she learned the company had conducted an 'internal investigation' into the issue and she was offered a AU $13 (£7.60/US $13) voucher as compensation.

Nando's apologised for the situation and offered Madison a voucher.
Stephen Barnes/Food and Drink/Alamy Stock Photo

"We are deeply sorry for the incident that occurred... Just checking in, how are you going after the incident?" a reply from Nando's read. "We hope that the voucher works to compensate what has transpired.

"The restaurant is also happy to invite you over for a compensatory meal. Thank you for your patience and understanding."

Days later, the company sent Madison an automated $15 (£8.70/$10.60) voucher for her birthday.

She described the initial voucher as 'rather insulting' and the response as a whole as 'comical', claiming: "They're not seeing the severity of the situation."

One month on, the customer plans to make an appointment, which could cost upwards of AU $250 (£146/US $177), see an ear, nose and throat specialist to deal with ongoing discomfort in her throat.

A Nando's spokesperson acknowledged the initial response 'could have been improved' in a statement to 9News, saying: "Nando's takes food safety extremely seriously and has an internal team dedicated to reviewing, investigating, and responding to such queries.

"We acknowledge that our initial response to this query could have been improved and did not live up to our high standards of customer care. For that we have apologised."

Nando's also sent Madison a birthday voucher.

The spokesperson said it has provided further training to its Customer Care representative, who was only hired recently, and added: "Nando's did undertake a full investigation at the restaurant, followed up with the customer to check in and the restaurant franchisee has extended an invitation to the customer to return for a complimentary meal so he can personally apologise for the inconvenience."

In the wake of the experience, Madison said she has been put off eating Nando's, which she used to have 'at least twice a week'.

UNILAD has reached out to Nando's for further comment.

If you have a story you want to tell, send it to UNILAD via [email protected] 

Featured Image Credit: Erkan Mehmet/Felix Choo/Alamy Stock Photo

Topics: Food and Drink, Australia, World News