McDonald’s Shut Down After Customer Finds Object in Breakfast Order

A McDonald’s restaurant in Columbus, Ohio was temporarily shut down by health inspectors following a customer’s alarming discovery of a crack pipe in their drive-thru breakfast order. The customer, who chose to remain anonymous, shared his unsettling experience on Reddit, stating that he returned the bag to the restaurant to prevent a similar incident from happening, particularly with a child’s Happy Meal. Despite the offer of a refund, the customer decided to report the incident to Franklin County Public Health.

The health department responded by closing the restaurant on Wednesday after uncovering numerous health code violations during an inspection of the ongoing construction work at the location. The Columbus Dispatch reported that construction workers were seen moving freely throughout the restaurant, leaving construction dust on food preparation counters, equipment, and flooring.

The health inspectors’ report further detailed the unsanitary conditions, noting dust, debris, screws, unassembled computer equipment, and wooden trim pieces on top of beverage service equipment such as soda dispensers, frappuccino machines, frozen beverage dispensers, and coffee machines. The report also highlighted the lack of a protective barrier between the construction area and the food service area, with cellphones even found on the grill.

In addition to these violations, the restaurant was found to be non-compliant with cleaning and sanitizing food surfaces, protecting food from contamination, and having a food safety-trained individual present. The restaurant was ordered to rectify these health code violations by January 4, according to the Dispatch.

Franchise owner Alex Mendoza, who operates at least 16 McDonald’s restaurants in the area, expects the restaurant to reopen by the end of the week. He emphasized that the closure was due to a dust issue from construction and not related to the crack pipe incident that triggered the inspection.

Mendoza stated that his company has initiated a comprehensive internal review of the claim regarding the alleged drug paraphernalia. He assured the Dispatch that the safety of his customers and crew is his top priority and that the matter is being taken very seriously. While there is no evidence to suggest that the crack pipe originated from the restaurant, Mendoza said the investigation is ongoing and local law enforcement has been notified.