POOR little Ruby Higgs got a nasty surprise when she bit into a pizza on a visit to Pizza Hut – and cut her mouth on someone’s lost earring.
The eight-year-old was at the restaurant in Binnacle Way, Port Solent, for a half-term treat last Friday afternoon with her grandparents, Andrew and Jane Higgs.
They ordered a gluten-free ham and mushroom pizza, but were horrified when Ruby started crying and bleeding from her mouth, spitting out a diamanté stud.
Now Ruby’s mum Stacey Hawes has hit out at the restaurant – and says she wants to see them ban any kind of piercing jewellery from their kitchens, restaurants and production lines.
The 32-year-old said: ‘It’s disgusting. She was shocked to have something like that in her food, as you don’t expect anything like that.
‘They shouldn’t have had it on, all I want is answers and I don’t want it happen again.
‘It could have easily been swallowed and it could have stuck in her throat. It could have killed a younger child, which is what frightens me.’
Mrs Hawes, of Whitley Row, Southsea, said that Ruby had to go for tests at the doctors, as they were worried that she could have caught something as the stud was metal, and would have been in close contact with someone else.
Mrs Hawes said: ‘Now we have to wait for four to six weeks for the results.
‘And in the meantime, if you go in there, they’ll all have piercings up their ears and in other places – it should not be allowed.’
Ruby’s grandparents complained at the time, and the manager gave them their meal for free, but Mrs Hawes wants the chain to launch an investigation.
A spokesperson for Pizza Hut said: ‘We take the health and safety of our guests extremely seriously. We’ve apologised to Mrs Hawes and her family and are reviewing this matter as a priority.
‘From our initial investigations we are confident that this was an isolated incident and we are in the process of conducting further analysis with our suppliers and independent experts to determine the source of the object, so that we can ensure this does not happen again.’