By Karen

Hutchinson-Talaski

Staff writer

HERMISTON— When Noe Melendez stopped at the Hermiston Jack in the Box for a meal for his family last week, his wife got something she definitely didn't order.

Elizabeth Melendez had taken her second bite of her hamburger when she began to choke, Melendez said.

"She ran to the sink and spit out what was in her mouth," Melendez explained. What was in her mouth was a half inch piece of clear, hard plastic.

Melendez called Jack in the Box and an employee said this type of thing had happened before, and that the company was looking into the problem.

"The kids were upset," said Melendez. "We made them throw away their food, and we just tried to compose ourselves."

Melendez was shocked that this type of thing would happen with Jack in the Box.

"That could have been my kids," he said. "They could have choked."

The family kept the burger and plastic piece and are sending it to the company.

The Hermiston Jack in the Box would not comment, but Kathleen Anthony, media relations manager, says the company takes all claims very seriously and they were beginning an investigation of the incident. Since no one has seen the burger or the plastic piece, it was too early to comment. She did say, however, that the company wasn't aware of any other problems at the Hermiston store.

Karen Hutchinson-Talaski can be reached at ktalaski@hermistonherald.com.

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