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Last Updated: Friday, 6 May, 2005, 18:20 GMT 19:20 UK
Severed finger found in ice cream
Kohl's Frozen Custard, Wilmington, North Carolina
Kohl's drive-through attendant had no idea the finger had been severed
A US man found a severed finger in a tub of ice cream, then refused to give it back to an injured employee.

Clarence Stowers bought a pint of chocolate ice cream from Kohl's Frozen Custard in Wilmington, North Carolina.

When he found a chewy object in his mouth, he assumed it was one of the ingredients, until he spat it out, washed the ice cream off - and found that it was a finger.

Kohl employee Brandon Fizer, 23, had lost the finger in a work accident.

Mr Fizer had accidentally put his finger into a machine used to beat the icecream mix.

While colleagues rushed to help Mr Fizer, a drive-through attendant unknowingly served his finger to Mr Stowers.

Finger food

At first, Mr Stowers failed to notice anything unusual about his custard.

"I thought it was candy because they put candy in your ice cream or whatever to make it a treat," he told a Wilmington television station.

"So I proceeded to put the object in my mouth, got all the ice cream off of it and spit it into my hand."

Anna Ayala
Anna Ayala claimed she found a finger in a bowl of Wendy's chilli
When he realised what he had been munching on, Mr Stowers "just started screaming".

He has now hired a lawyer and refuses to return the severed finger, which he regards as evidence in a possible legal action against the shop.

In a statement, Kohl's said that food safety authorities had inspected the restaurant and found it free from contamination.

An official US labour department investigation is now under way.

In 2004 another worker at Kohl's lost a finger in the same ice cream machine.

An investigation cleared the company of wrongdoing, but the employee, later fired, is continuing a legal fight for compensation.

There were 5,620 fingertip amputations in private workplaces across the US in 2003, with only 300 in leisure or hospitality workplaces, the Associated Press quoted a US labour department spokesman saying.

Last month a Las Vegas woman said she found a fingertip in a bowl of chilli at a Wendy's restaurant in San Jose, California.

Anna Ayala has been accused of fabricating her story and is facing charges of grand theft after Wendy's suffered severe losses following bad publicity.

US arrest over chilli finger case
22 Apr 05 |  Americas

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