LUBBOCK — After a woman posted a photo online of a worm she says she found in her lunch at local Chinese buffet, the incident went viral, prompting a visit from the Lubbock Health Department. 

Marisol Vasquez posted the picture of the bug on Facebook after eating at China Star last Saturday. She says she was about to dig into her plate of beef and broccoli, but as she went to take a bite, found something that certainly did not belong there. 

“I just put everything down,” Vasquez said. “I told my friend to stop eating, had my baby stop eating too. It was just nasty.”

Vasquez asked for the manager, who took away her plate and offered her a refund. She says she’s never seen anything like that at China Star before, in all the times she’s eaten there. Vasquez says she’ll never eat there again. 

“They said it was a grub worm, so like a vegetable worm,” she recalled. “But other people told me it was a maggot. Everyone just keeps telling me something different. It was just so nasty, I don’t know.”

Whatever the creature in question was, it quickly prompted a visit from inspectors with the Lubbock Department of Environmental Health. 

“They didn’t find anything,” according to the manager who dealt with Vasquez last weekend, Marc Roundtree. “No evidence was found, no violations as far as worms or insects.”

KAMC News acquired copies of the reports from Monday’s inspection. True, the inspectors did not report finding any creepy crawlies in the kitchen. However, the report did list more than a dozen health code violations found that, eight of which listed as “critical” infractions. 

The critical violations were corrected on site that same day. 

China Star says they’ve never encountered a situation like this, in their 20-plus years of business. They also say that Vasquez’s Facebook photo doesn’t prove the worm came from them. 

“I don’t think people should jump to conclusions. They should get all the facts first before they start posting whatever they post,” Roundtree said. “You’ve got crooked customers out there who will do things to benefit themselves, you know? To get their five minutes of fame.”

Roundtree added that he would never smear a restaurant online in such a way.

“I would never do that to anybody. As far as I can see it, it’s cyberbullying.”