In a shocking incident that recently took place at a McDonald’s restaurant in Columbus, Ohio, a customer reported finding a crack pipe in their drive-thru breakfast order. This disturbing discovery led to the closure of the establishment by health inspectors. The incident gained significant attention after the customer shared their experience on Reddit.
The Alarming Discovery
The anonymous customer discovered the crack pipe in their Tuesday morning order and immediately took action. Instead of accepting a refund, the customer decided to bring the bag back to the store and alert a manager about the troubling find. The customer’s concern was not only for themselves but also for the safety of other patrons, as they expressed the fear that a similar item might “end up in a Happy Meal.”
Health Code Violations
Upon receiving the report, Franklin County Public Health swiftly intervened and initiated an inspection at the McDonald’s location. The inspection revealed multiple health code violations, leading to the closure of the restaurant. According to the Columbus Dispatch, the health inspectors noted various infractions during their visit. Construction workers were observed freely moving through the establishment, leaving behind construction dust on food preparation counters, equipment, and flooring. The report also documented the presence of dust, debris, screws, unassembled computer equipment, and wooden trim pieces on beverage service equipment such as soda dispensers, frappuccino machines, frozen beverage dispensers, and coffee machines.
Lack of Protective Barrier
One of the most concerning findings was the absence of a protective barrier between the construction area and the food service area. This lack of separation posed a significant risk of contamination. Shockingly, the inspectors even noted the presence of cellphones on the grill, further highlighting the disregard for food safety protocols.
Cleaning and Sanitization Issues
In addition to the lack of a protective barrier, the McDonald’s location was found to be out of compliance with cleaning and sanitizing food surfaces. This violation raised serious concerns about the potential for foodborne illnesses and contamination. Protecting food from contamination is a fundamental requirement for any food establishment, and this violation demonstrated a failure to meet basic safety standards.
Repercussions and Corrective Actions
As a result of the health code violations, the McDonald’s restaurant was promptly closed, and the franchise owner, Alex Mendoza, was given until January 4th to rectify the issues. Mendoza expressed confidence in reopening the establishment by the end of the week, attributing the closure to a “dust issue” caused by the ongoing construction. However, he emphasized that the closure had “nothing” to do with the crack pipe incident that triggered the inspection.