Michael Catoner and Kristina Tioseco from Daly City told ABC7 News that a recent order of chicken tenders turned up deep-fried paper. The couple shared pictures and video of item in question.
#ONLYON7 At least one #BayArea family won’t be rushing to their neighborhood @PopeyesChicken for the trending #ChickenSandwich. They say a recent order of tenders turned up deep fried paper. Yikes! Take a look. They caught it before their 3yo could eat it. Story @ 11 p. #abc7now pic.twitter.com/uGh7EK28mo— Amanda del Castillo (@AmandaABC7) August 23, 2019
They explained their three-year-old daughter, Max, is a big fan of Popeyes chicken tenders. In late-June, the family took home a box from the company's Colma location on Serramonte Boulevard.
"Almost went through more than half our meal," Tioseco explained. "And towards the end, we noticed an extremely odd, long piece of tender."
Video shared with ABC7 News shows Catoner pulling apart the piece of battered paper.
"You break it apart and you could see the rips of the paper," he said. "The folds of the wax paper or parchment paper, or whatever that is."
Catoner was the only one to swallow a piece of the deep-fried paper. He and his fiancee immediately took the box back to Popeyes.
They were given a full refund, but admit they were still reeling with concern. The couple kept thinking about what could've happened if Max had eaten it.
"We don't know what type of health hazards that could've caused," Catoner said. "She could've eaten it. She could've choked. What type of bacteria was on that type of stuff?"
So, they reached out to Popeyes Corporate, the Better Business Bureau, and the San Mateo County Health Department.
The County explained it wouldn't release information on any specific formal complaint. Though they confirm formal grievances are immediately investigated.
However, if there was any threat to the public or threat of foodborne illness, they said that information would be shared.
Tioseco said the Health Department reported back to her, confirming parchment paper is used to separate poultry freshly seasoned at the Colma location.
"They said most likely it had fallen in after it got battered and they didn't catch it," she said.
Tioseco said after multiple attempts to reach Popeyes, they still have not heard back. The incident happened in late-June.
She said all they're looking for is an acknowledgment from Popeyes and an apology.
"I know that accidents happen, but this is food," she said.
ABC7 News has reached out to Popeyes, but have not heard back. This web article will be updated to reflect any statement or response by the company.