Foreign substances not common to the food they are found in can range from a caterpillar in a salad to a sewing needle in a packaged sandwich. That is what passengers on a recent Delta flight found when they bit into their turkey sandwich, a metal needle. ABC and WSJ are reporting that at least two passengers found a metal, sewing needle in their food while traveling on a Delta flight from Amsterdam.

I remember eating a salad at a "nice" restaurant when I was in college and the leaf kept moving.  I realized there was actually a live animal enjoying my salad, too. Although not far fetched to find a caterpillar enjoying leaves of lettuce it was not something: a) I wanted to see; b) I was accustomed to by growing up in the United States; and c) I felt exemplified sanitary conditions.  The waiter offered to bring me a new salad but for some reason my appetite had curbed.

That real life example in comparison to another one this past weekend when my wife and I were eating crab cakes and encountered small fragments of crab shell-offer two different scenarios. The crab shell was nothing to be alarmed with as crab cakes are made from crab meat found inside the crab shell. Now had we bitten into or found:

  • a metal hook;
  • hypodermic needle;
  • bullet; or
  • other substance not found naturally with the substance of the food…

that would have been odd. Thus the meaning of "foreign substance" in a food product.

No worries South Carolinians as your legislatures have set forth the  South Carolina Food and Cosmetic Act, found at South Carolina Code Section 39-25-10, to define many instances of adulterated or misbranded food that may cause you or your loved ones injuries. If not defined by the statutory definitions there may be other causes of actions under common law negligence.

We are currently representing and have represented clients that have experienced the following:

  1. Ingested a "finishing nail" while eating a birthday cake from a supermarket where the bakery was undergoing construction;
  2. Broken teeth from a metal object found in their hamburger at a local fast food chain; and
  3. A dozen or more clients impacted by the lot and batch number of peanut butter jars contaminated with animal feces from a neighboring plant. 

Other articles I encountered while putting this article together provide varying insights:

  1. Immediately alert your restaurant server;
  2. Get medical care;
  3. Document proof of purchase;
  4. Secure physical evidence;
  5. Take photographs;
  6. Make a complaint;
  7. Notify health agencies; and
  8. Inquire about your legal rights.



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Photo of Trey Mills Trey Mills

Floyd S. “Trey” Mills III knows that suffering a personal injury through no fault of your own can be a nightmare for the victim and his or her family

Mr. Mills was born on April 24, 1978.  His parents, Floyd S. “Butch” Mills,

Floyd S. “Trey” Mills III knows that suffering a personal injury through no fault of your own can be a nightmare for the victim and his or her family

Mr. Mills was born on April 24, 1978.  His parents, Floyd S. “Butch” Mills, Jr. and Patricia Yarborough Mills, were originally from Newberry, South Carolina, and soon after the birth of Mr. Mills, his parents brought him back to be raised in the same county they grew up in.


Mr. Mills attended Newberry Academy from grades K-3, Gallman Elementary 4th grade, Rikard Elementary 5-6th grade, Mid-Carolina Middle School 7-8th grades, Mid-Carolina High School from 9-12th grades, Clemson University, and Walter F. George School of Law at Mercer University.

Health Crisis

While Mr. Mills was a junior in high school he was chosen by his school to be a representative to Boys State.  This was a great honor and would have been an even better experience except, while at Boys State, Mr. Mills became unusually ill with blackouts, night sweats, and back pain.  Fortunately for Mr. Mills, his mother was an ER nurse at Lexington Medical Center, but unfortunately, for Mr. Mills that did not change his diagnosis of Acute Lymphocytic Leukemia.  Along with his diagnosis, Mr. Mills received a prognosis of two weeks.

Obviously, Mr. Mills has been blessed with his second chance at life and those who have been wronged by health care insurance companies and other types of insurance companies can feel confident in knowing that Mr. Mills can not only empathize with them but fight fervently for their side.  Mr. Mills’ cancer experience and his mother’s arduous yet unsuccessful battle against lung cancer were very trying times.  However, those real-world battles and experiences were nothing compared to the administrative and billing wars he had to encounter with Blue Cross Blue Shield Health Insurance. It seems BCBS would deny any charge over $1,000 without rational reasoning therefore prompting Mr. Mills to go to law school and carry the torch for those that were too ill to fight for themselves while the school yard bully beat them down.


Mr. Mills went on to Clemson University where he was very active in student activities along with academic accomplishments.  Mr. Mills was invited to join Calhoun Honor’s College, Sigma Pi fraternity, Golden Key National Honor Society, Student Government, IPTAY Student Advisory Board, and Tiger Brotherhood. Mr. Mills also worked as a student employee with IPTAY Scholarship Fund under the direction of Bert Henderson, formerly the Associate Athletic Director of Planned Giving at Clemson University.

Early Life

Mr. Mills was unsure of where his hard work and life experiences would best provide an adequate return to the outpouring of kindness he received during his cancer experience. Having received many blessings from the American Red Cross, Mr. Mills went on to be an Apheresis Donor Recruiter under the supervision of Barry Pollard at the American Red Cross Blood Donor Services in Columbia, SC after graduating Clemson University.

Running from his true calling, Mr. Mills fled to Guadalajara, Jalisco, Mexico to Teach English as a Foreign Language (TEFL).  Having spent a semester of college in Madrid, Spain, Mr. Mills thought he should be assisting foreign countries. Mr. Mills was certified by the Vancouver Language Centre in Guadalajara for his TEFL training.  Mr. Mills was in Guadalajara only a few months when September 11, 2001 occurred and helped him focus on his life priorities.

Law School

Mr. Mills went on to law school at Mercer University and clerked each summer trying to determine how he could best serve those less fortunate.  The corporate law firms never truly provided him with that personal feeling of assisting the common person in need.  It wasn’t until Mr. Mills became the first law clerk of the South Carolina Trial Lawyers Association under the supervision of Linda Franklin and lobbyist Michael Gunn that he realized where his education, life experience, drive, and hard work could truly benefit those who have been personally and directly affected by the negligence of another.  Mr. Mills wanted to be a coveted and much needed plaintiff’s trial attorney.  More importantly Mr. Mills realized the power of the faceless insurance companies, misinformed legislative members, and the true power of money and lobbyist in dictating laws.

What’s the one service you pay for all your life but you are actually penalized if you ever have to use it? Insurance.

Trammell & Mills

Mr. Ernie Trammell gave Mr. Mills his big break at leveling the playing field against the faceless and heartless insurance companies.  Mr. Mills works tirelessly every day in an effort to bring justice to those who have been wronged.  Mr. Mills has worked on both sides of the law and has been through some harrowing life experiences.  Mr. Mills has been tested and tried by many of the more traumatic events that life has to offer and now provides his services to the public.

Who would you rather have on your side? Someone whose resolve has been tested and tried? Or someone who has intertwined their morality and greed in such a way that they can’t tell one from the other?

Why haven’t you hired Mr. Mills to be your attorney yet?

Would you listen to the devil on how to get to Heaven? Then why listen to insurance adjusters?