We have all heard of people finding hair in their food at a restaurant but this is a first.

A McDonald's restaurant faced an unexpected closure after an alarming discovery by a couple who stumbled upon a crack pipe in their drive-thru breakfast order.

Columbus Public Health swiftly responded to an emergency complaint filed by the couple, resulting in a temporary shutdown and an extensive health inspection.

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Columbus Dispatch reported that the fast-food establishment was closed for corrective measures until January 4 after city health inspectors found several health code violations during their visit on Wednesday. However, McDonald's corporate confirmed that the restaurant resumed operations on Thursday following clearance from Columbus Public Health.

Franchise owner Alex Mendoza attributed the closure to a "dust issue" resulting from ongoing construction within the store. He explicitly stated that the incident involving the crack pipe was unrelated to the closure.


Not how they expected to start their morning

The ordeal unfolded when a Columbus man reported on Reddit that he and his girlfriend found a crack pipe in the bag containing their McDonald's breakfast order from the drive-thru. Upon receiving the bag, the concerned individual promptly alerted a McDonald's manager, who offered a refund.

I'm sorry, these people weren't just given a chicken sandwich when they ordered a cheeseburger, they were served a literal crack pipe and the best you can offer them is a refund?

However, he declined the refund, emphasizing his primary aim was to bring attention to the issue, particularly concerning the safety of children who might inadvertently come across such items.

Reddit got the health inspector's attention

The Reddit user, known as "ltibbs," escalated the incident by reporting it to Franklin County Public Health, subsequently referred to Columbus Public Health due to the restaurant's location within the city limits.

Mendoza's company assured a thorough internal investigation into the matter and notified local law enforcement while expressing uncertainty about the origin of the found item.

The health inspection uncovered numerous violations, primarily linked to ongoing construction activities within the restaurant.

Inspectors documented:

  • Construction dust contaminating food preparation areas, equipment, and flooring.
  • The absence of protective barriers between the construction site and food service
  • The presence of construction debris, trash, and equipment throughout the facility.

Additionally, the report highlighted violations related to cleaning and sanitizing food contact surfaces, protecting food from contamination sources, and ensuring the presence of knowledgeable staff performing food safety duties.

Inspectors disclosed previous minor violations over the past five years in their inspection reports for the location. These included issues like uncovered frozen food, unrefrigerated perishables, mishandling of food items, and cleanliness concerns in food preparation areas.

The McDonald's management is expected to rectify these violations promptly to comply with health standards and ensure the safety and well-being of its customers moving forward.

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Gallery Credit: Charlotte Barnett

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