A UK chef accused of spiking a vegan diner's meal has quit her job after receiving death threats.
Laura Goodman, 47, found herself at the centre of a storm and even called in cops after making the "joke" in a late night Facebook post.
She has now left her job at Italian restaurant Carlini in Shifnal, Shropshire, about 250km northwest of London, after being bombarded with angry messages.
A spokesman for the restaurant said: "Laura Goodman has today tendered her resignation from Carlini and the board of directors are currently considering their options.
"Whilst this process is being completed, Laura will not be working at either of the restaurants, which will reopen later this week.
"As part of a pre-planned recruitment drive, Carlini is also recruiting for an additional head chef to work across both its restaurants in Shropshire."
Ms Goodman was embroiled in the scandal after boasting in a Facebook group how she "spiked a vegan a few hours ago" on Saturday evening.
The Rome-born chef also blasted: "Pious, judgmental vegan (who I spent all day cooking for) has gone to bed, still believing she's a vegan."
A pal said today she was in a "bad way" and "too scared to leave the house" following the fury.
The friend added: "She can't believe how she has found herself in this position. She actually made a flippant remark which wasn't even true. She didn't actually 'spike' anyone's food. It's been a nightmare for her."
Yesterday, her fiance and business partner Michael Gale said their "world has been turned upside down" since the flippant remark was shared around the world.
He said the chef had been drinking and was annoyed after a group of vegans did not order from a special menu she created for them - and one even ate a margarita pizza with mozzarella cheese.
He said: "We've completely shot ourselves in the foot. We now understand that in the vegetarian and vegan world, saying that you've 'spiked' someone's food means that you put meat in it, which isn't the case here.
"I think that the whole storm that has arisen has come from that word 'spike'.
"She deeply regrets that she used it, she didn't mean to cause offence when she used it, and she's sorry.
"She's sorry not just for us, but for all of the people that she's offended.
"At the time of making the post, it was in the small hours of the morning, and Laura had probably had too much to drink and was angry that they hadn't chosen to have the dishes that she had prepared for them.
"It was a stupid remark in a closed group. She didn't expect it to go viral, which was maybe a bit naive of her.
"She's horrified by what she's done, embarrassed and deeply sorry.
"With some of these threats that she's received, she's almost suicidal. She doesn't want to go outdoors."
Mr Gale said Ms Goodman has received threats of death, violence and lawsuits from all over the world.
Carlini and a sister restaurant in the town, also called Carlini, have received phantom bookings and their Google and TripAdvisor pages have been flooded with one-star reviews.
One furious troll even contacted a waitress's mother.
Mr Gale said: "I would just like to reassure customers that they shouldn't be concerned about this flippant remark, because it doesn't have any bearing on the food that we serve here.
"Laura bent over backwards to try and come up with something special for them, and it's so sad that it's ended like this."
Since Ms Goodman's post, the restaurant's Facebook page has been deleted but people have posted dozens of bad reviews in response on TripAdvisor and Google.
One TripAdvisor user called for her to be prosecuted for her actions.
Another said on Google: "Feeding a non-vegan meal to someone who has made the compassionate or potentially even medical choice not to eat animal products intentionally is disgraceful.
"And then to brag about it on your Facebook page, I hope you're ashamed of yourself.
"Your business is not too far from where I live and you can rest assured you will never have the custom of me or any of my friends again."
Another added: "This lady should be charged with assault.
"We are vegan for a reason, to disregard our wishes and boast about contaminating food is at least a sackable offence."
Vegans now plan to protest outside the restaurant, demanding it be shut down.
And the storm of criticism over the restaurateur's comments have now seen Shropshire Council involved.
It confirmed: "We have received complaints and are investigating."
Update your news preferences and get the latest news delivered to your inbox.