Celebrating her 50th birthday, Julie Mraz was with her entire family for lunch at Luna’s Mexican Restaurant on Providence Road in Riverview.
“There are the tacos, the refried beans. I like Mexican food,” said Mraz, who has eaten at Luna’s in the past.
But shortly after the food arrived, Julie says she felt something that didn’t belong in her mouth while chewing up her tamale.
“Took a tissue, spit it out, and I don’t mean to be graphic but it was not a hair that comes from the head,” said Mraz.
She filed a complaint with the Department of Business and Professional Regulation, claiming it was a “pubic hair” baked into her food. The discovery was so disgusting, she said, she had to leave the table.
“I went and got sick in the bathroom.”
The complaint triggered a visit by a state inspector with the Department of Business and Professional Regulation, who stopped in on September 4. The inspector didn’t find any hairs, but did document 6 critical violations. Among the problems: a refrigeration unit keeping food at unsafe temperatures.
Even worse, when a repair man working on the unit took off the front panel, the inspector reports 60 roaches came running out into the kitchen.
“We’ve been working with a company for about a year. We’ve been treating all that, but other than that, everything is OK,” said the general manager of Luna’s.
We stopped in asking to take a look inside the restaurant’s kitchen. “We’d prefer not to at this point,” said the general manager. “As you can see, we are back operating.”
The GM told us all issues were immediately corrected. As for the hair Julie found in her food, the manager said that was actually a string from a piece of corn used to make the tortilla.
“It was a minor issue. We had to shut it down for 24 hours, but nothing bad. As you can see, we are back in business and that’s all that really matters.”
But Julie said what matters is how she was treated by restaurant staff after finding something so gross it made her sick. “They didn’t apologize to me at all. They didn’t come over to the table and address it to me at all,” said Mraz. “It was like I didn’t exist.”