Woman Finds Insect Larva In Her Food At Iron Abbey in Horsham, PA

2014-06-12 21.19.36

On June 12th, 2014 a woman met with her friends for a celebratory “Mom’s Night Out” at the Iron Abbey Gastro Pub in Horsham, PA. She ordered the Grilled Veggie wrap with a House Salad on the side. What she got was a surprise. On one of the leaves at the top of the salad was a large insect larvae. When she touched the outside of it’s cocoon, it wiggled within. Iron Abbey offered a new salad, but failed to correct the situation until the woman had been waiting for a manager for over an hour. A manager never did actually come to her table and she left the restaurant hungry after paying for her drink.


Who was this woman?

Me. I found an insect larva in my salad at Iron Abbey.

First let me say, I am more disappointed with the way the incident was handled than the finding of the larva itself. I understand that when you are working with fresh ingredients, these things can happen. And although I’m not sure if the salad leaves were washed, I would like to think that they were and this larvae just survived that process. I hope.

Once our waiter was made aware of the problem, he said a sincere, “Oh, I’m very sorry about that. I’ll let the manager know.” And whisked the plate away with the leaf and the living insect larva. I then expected someone to return and perhaps offer me something else to eat or ask what can be done to make the situation right, but that didn’t happen. I sat there feeling embarrassed and uncomfortable while I looked at my veggie wrap and the lettuce within it and contemplated whether it would be rude of me to decline eating it. My friend said it was probably fine, so I forced myself to eat some of the wrap, feeling more disgusted with each bite. The manager never came, and the waiter seemed to be ignoring our table despite the restaurant not being very busy.

30 minutes after the larva was taken from the table, our waiter quietly took the old salad away and slipped a new salad next to my plate and muttered, “Sorry about that,” scampering away quickly before I could decline the salad. I did not want another salad. I would have happily eaten anything but a salad.

Sitting uncomfortably for another 25 or 30 minutes, I made conversation with my friends while not touching the food at all. Much of our conversation was about the larva and what “should” happen next, but none of those things happened. I had hoped that the waiter might come and perhaps offer to bring me something else, and I could ask for the nachos with no lettuce. I would have even paid for it. But he seemed to be avoiding our table.

Another friend at the table finally flagged him down and asked what was up. The other ladies wanted refills on their drinks and the manager still hadn’t been told about the larva issue. My friend was polite, but much more direct about his need to bring this to the attention of the management sooner rather than later. The waiter made an excuse that the manager is upstairs and the waiter was just waiting for him to come down so that he can let him know. I finally jumped in and said, “I’d really just like to leave because I feel very uncomfortable. Can you bring me my bill for whatever I owe you so that I can just go?” Then the waiter said, “Well, we will probably take care of your salad, but I have to get the manager to do that.” By this time, I was really annoyed.

About 10 minutes later, a tall man came to the table and asked, “I understand there was something found in your salad?” I reply, “Yes, did you see it?” He had not seen it, so I offered to show him a picture I took of it with my phone. He tried to decline seeing the picture, saying “I really don’t need to see it,” but said, “We are going to comp your salad.” A friend asked, “Are you the manager?” Then the tall gentleman said, “No, I’m not the manager on duty tonight, and I don’t usually do the floor management.” I was a little baffled by everyone’s inability to figure out how to take care of the situation.

Not long after, the bill arrived and the waiter explained that, “Instead of offering you a dessert or something, he took off 20% from your total bill and comped the salad.” I said “Thank you”. He offered to box up my salad and wrap, and I told him I was not interested in it at all.

Actually, they only took off $7.22 from the $8.50 dish, but I can’t complain about that since they deducted 20% from the entire table.

What I really wanted was something to eat. I went to a restaurant and ate part of a veggie wrap and came home hungry. Next time I will be more direct with the waiter and tell them what I want, even though I am very uncomfortable and embarrassed in these kinds of situations. And next time I will NOT be going to the Iron Abbey.



12 thoughts on “Woman Finds Insect Larva In Her Food At Iron Abbey in Horsham, PA”

  1. I used to work there… For an extremely short period of time. It was so disorganized and the owners and managers don’t care about the customers much at all… I’m not surprised no one showed.

    1. Thank you for understanding. I’m sorry that you had to work in a place like that. :/ I never really NEEDED to speak to a manager, it was the server who told us that only the manager could do anything…. I should have spoken up for myself and just asked for a different plate of food instead of sitting there blushing. shrugs. Thank you for commenting

  2. The manager should have addressed the problem. You should have had some assurance that the rest of the lettuce had been checked and that no others would be served the same. It’s funny. Maybe it takes posting on Facebook to get a response. Maybe being in the news (TV or newspaper) would do it. Maybe a call to the Department of Health would force a response.

    That could be a sign of a food storage issue. I would not have eaten any more there. It is interesting the lack of concern though.

  3. I have eaten there a few times and have not felt well after eating. Now it all makes sense to me…..I don’t even want to see what the inside of the kitchen looks like!!!
    One of the last times I ate there, I got a mild case of food poisoning…..will think twice about returning.

  4. That is absolutely appalling! Not the bug in the food…sometimes these things happen..

    The lack of service and/or care for the customers is what would’ve made my blood boil!

    As someone who has worked in customer service for more years than I’d like to admit, I wouldn’t have hesitated to make a bit of a stink over it…Never be afraid or ashamed to stand up for yourself in a situation like that. As a paying customer, you deserve better.

  5. I’ve worked in restaurants for a long time, both on the floor and as a manager. One of the most frustrating things is when a customer doesn’t speak up until it’s too late for me to fix a problem but obviously this was not the case this time. It’s clear the server was very inexperienced on how to handle a situation like yours, but what makes it worse is that there was no manager to help you in any way. At the very least a manager should have showed up to apologize for the circumstances and ask how they could rectify the problem whether with a replacement or with a new meal altogether. It was extremely unprofessional and unfortunately not surprising with that particular place. Except for a few many of the servers are rude and the managers are non-existent.

    1. Thank you for understanding, Lisa. I have never managed a restaurant, but was a waitress for a time. In the long run, offering a new plate of food to a patron is much cheaper than losing a lot of business because of poor service. I’m sorry you’ve also had less than awesome experiences there. This was my first (and last) time at Iron Abbey.

  6. It amazes me that locals still support iron abbey & NaBrasa. This is the same place that the Department of Labor sued for $110,00 because they were not paying back of house employees over time hours that they were working. The same place that was sued by fired employees because they changed their tip pool without the servers knowledge & then fired servers who questioned them & tried to deny them unemployment. Sometimes we, as a community, need to stand up & demand that our local businesses treat their employees AND customers right & fairly. Seems like the owners care about neither. I will never be back to either establishment and would never recommend to my friends!

  7. I have a buddy who use to manage both restaurants but the owners were a bit shady. So he quit and moved on. When he worked there both restaurants were top quality establishments, the food was awesome and you would have never experienced a problem like the one you encountered. When he left I noticed the quality of food and service wasn’t the same.

  8. I’m not suprised.. I ordered calamari once and there was a long hair cooked in the batter of my calamari. I was completely disgusted. Luckily, they refunded my money and offered another order but I certainly wasn’t up for another helping. Needless to say I only go there for drinks now because they have a great selection of craft beer.

  9. So I went there about 1 1/2 years ago. We ordered the filet sliders. There were 3 sliders all with a pickle on top of the roll held by a toothpick. I pulled the toothpick out and ate the pickle. My friend went to pick up the slider and realized that it was cold. He pulled off the bun and asked me to touch it. We then called over the bartender and asked him to touch it showing him that it was cold. He replied that he wasn’t surprised and would order us a fresh order. GREAT. No it gets worst. So in the meantime, somebody else’s order comes to the bar while we are waiting. The bartender promptly takes the order to the other side of the bar. As he places it down, I gaze over at the other patrons. I turn to my friend and say OMG. He asked whats going on. I tell him that our old order is now with the other patrons. Now remember I ate the pickle off the first slider. The order that just came out had 3 sliders while only 2 had a pickle. I called the bartender and said you just gave them the old order that my friend touched, I touched and then you the bartender touched. I pointed out the missing pickle. He replied, that’s are great kitchen staff. So we left.

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