24 October 2016
Part of a kitchen sponge was found in the Häagen-Dazs milkshake (inset). Photos:, Apple Daily
Part of a kitchen sponge was found in the Häagen-Dazs milkshake (inset). Photos:, Apple Daily

Palate cleansing? Kitchen sponge found in Häagen-Dazs milkshake

Most retailers of food and beverages pride themselves on keeping their preparation areas clean.

And kitchen sponges are an important weapon in the fight against dirt.

But at a Häagen-Dazs store, it seems a sponge recently went too far and invaded the product purchased by a customer.

A woman, surnamed Fan, and her daughter bought a Belgian chocolate milkshake and an ice cream cake to take away from the store at iSquare in Tsim Sha Tsui at about 10 p.m. Nov. 29.

When they got home, the girl, aged 14, said the milkshake tasted salty at first, Apple Daily reported Friday.

After a few sips, she said she felt there was something in her mouth.

She spat it out and saw it was a one-centimeter-long piece of sponge.

The pair decided to open the lid of the tumbler containing the milkshake and look inside.

To their shock and surprise, they saw something that was dark green and looked like a kitchen sponge at the bottom of the drink.

Fan immediately called the outlet and complained.

The Häagen-Dazs staff said they could have another drink for free as compensation.

Fan was not satisfied and later called the customer service hotline.

The staff said the company would like to send the contaminated drink for laboratory testing and offered her supermarket coupons worth HK$1,000 as compensation.

On Tuesday, Fan was told the firm had referred the case to an insurance company.

Fan filed a complaint with the Food and Environmental Hygiene Department (FEHD) later Tuesday.

She said the drink was bought around the time the store was closing.

Fan said she was worried that the sponge will have a negative effect on her daughter’s health.

In the meantime, Fan, who appears to remain a fan of Häagen-Dazs, admitted she asked the company to give her a 50 percent discount on its products for the rest of her life as compensation.

The FEHD took away the drink Wednesday for testing.

Its officers inspected the store and found its standard of hygiene satisfactory.

Meanwhile, Häagen-Dazs said it is very concerned about the case but believes it was an isolated incident.

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