Valley-based restaurant: No evidence behind tainted-food allegations - The Monitor: News

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Valley-based restaurant: No evidence behind tainted-food allegations

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Posted: Tuesday, February 19, 2013 6:37 am

EDINBURG — The attorney for a Rio Grande Valley-based Mexican restaurant chain said there is no evidence behind a lawsuit alleging that there were insect parts served in food, causing two customers nearly $20,000 in medical bills.

Yvette Torres and Francisco Montanez of Alamo are suing Delia’s Tamales — and its parent company, DELGAR Foods LLC — claiming that its tamales gave them food poisoning and mental anguish.

The complaint, which was filed last week in Hidalgo County Court-at-Law 6 in Edinburg, claims that on July 11, 2012, Torres and Montanez went to eat at the Delia’s Tamales restaurant in Pharr, later falling ill after eating and discovering that their food contained insect residue and at least one whole cockroach, the lawsuit alleges.

Delia’s attorney John Millin said in a written statement that Delia’s Tamales vigorously denies the allegations that an insect was found by Torres and Montanez in one of their tamales.

“For over 30 years Delia has made her tamales with only the best ingredients and highest attention to detail,” the statement reads. “In fact, on the day of the alleged incident, Delia’s was inspected and passed without receiving any demerits.”

Millin said the restaurant owners were very concerned about the allegations and conducted their own investigation into the matter but found no evidence linking the insect to the restaurant.

“Despite the lack of such evidence, the Plaintiff’s attorney made a demand of $40,000, stating that his clients had incurred $18,000 in medical bills from a hospital visit as a result of the incident; when Delia’s requested proof of the medical billing, none was received,” Millin’s statement reads. “Delia’s hopes that (its) loyal customers will not be persuaded by these scare tactics.”

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Ildefonso Ortiz covers courts and law enforcement for The Monitor. He can be reached at iortiz@themonitor.com and (956) 683-4437 or on Twitter, @IldefonsoOrtiz.

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