A cop in Indianapolis is not lovin' it: Paul Watkins, a reserve officer with the Indianapolis Metropolitan Police Department, says he was poisoned after drinking harsh cleaning chemicals from a McDonald's iced tea dispenser. According to the local ABC affiliate RTV6, Watkins purchased an iced tea at a nearby McDonald's last weekend. He then went to the soda fountain to fill up his cup, but immediately felt "a burning sensation" in his throat after taking a sip.
When Watkins went to tell a manager, the manager explained that staff were cleaning the machine. According to the police report, employees had filled the machine with degreaser, but forgotten to cover the spout and handle to prevent patrons from using it while the chemicals were inside. Watkins was taken to a nearby hospital for treatment. He spent the night at the hospital, but as of yesterday says he "was still having problems with his throat."
Degreaser is a common cleaning chemical used in restaurant kitchens. It can contain both hydrochloric acid and sulfuric acid, both of which can cause a "corrosive effect on human tissue."
The owner of the McDonald's location released this statement to the press: "Serving my customers safe, high quality food and beverages is a top priority at our restaurants. We take this claim very seriously and are looking into the matter."
Watkins's family finds it hard to believe that McDonald's would use such harsh chemicals to clean an iced tea machine. Watkins has hired an attorney, but a lawsuit has not as of yet been filed.
Last August, Dickey's Barbecue Pit in Utah came under scrutiny for nearly the same accident: a woman suffered third degree burns in her throat after accidentally drinking lye that had been mistakenly poured into the iced tea dispenser.