Texas Mom Finds Opiates in Daughter's Pasta Dish

There's nothing scarier than finding an unwanted addition to any restaurant meal. Be it a finger nail or a piece of hair, anything that isn't food doesn't have a need to be on the plate. One mom from Amarillo, Texas found quite the shock when she found two capsule pills in her daughter's leftover pasta dish from the restaurant chain, Cheddar's.

Brittani McGhee Smith visited the restaurant to celebrate her 3-year-old daughter's birthday. The next day McGhee's grandfather, James, found white pills in the marina sauce.

"I was in the state of just panic, just numbness, just because I wanted to make sure she was fine," said Brittani. James was shocked to see the pills right as he opened the take-out container.


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Brittani Googled the letters and numbers on the tablets and found out they were 50 milligram tablets of Tramadol, a pain reliever which treats moderate to severe pain. The pills also have opioid-like effects that give users a narcotic high when taken. Just in 2016 there were more than 63,600 drug overdose deaths in the United States.

Brittani contacted the City of Amarillo Environmental Health Department to report the findings four weeks after finding the pills. The department did an inspection of the kitchen prep line on the same day the complaint was filed and shared that they found a bottle of personal medication in the food prep area.

The department concluded that the medication they found in the restaurant was only a bottle of Advil. Cheddar's reached out with this statement:

"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."

Brittani is willing to speak to Cheddar's restaurant with the help of an advisor. She thinks there hasn't been enough reprimanding for what was done.

If you or a loved one is struggling with substance abuse, please reach out to the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration by calling the national helpline: 1-800-662-HELP (4357). The free and confidential 24/7 service provides referrals to local treatment centers and addiction treatment programs, support groups and community-based organizations. 

Watch: What Your Birth Month Says About Your Health