The Lexington-Fayette County Health Department investigated a McDonald’s in Lexington on Monday after a woman reported finding the tip of a needle in her hamburger there.
The woman’s stepdaughter, Erin Spellman, posted on Facebook a photo of the tip of the needle, such as those used with insulin pens, along with a warning about the restaurant in the Hamburg shopping area.
“Just thought I’d scare everyone with something that personally happened to my family today — my dad and stepmom were eating at the McDonald’s in Hamburg and found a NEEDLE in her hamburger. Health dept has been called but fair warning ... do NOT go there!!!”
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Lexington-Fayette County Health Department spokesman Kevin Hall confirmed Tuesday that the health department had gone to the McDonald’s at 1921 Plaudit Place.
“A health inspector visited the restaurant, surveyed the ingredients used to make the burger and found no evidence of contamination,” Hall said via email. The inspector “also spoke with the restaurant’s managers, who reported that they and their staff had no idea how the needle could have been found in the burger.”
The restaurant remains open, Hall said.
Denise Long, the restaurant’s owner/operator, said in a written statement: “We take this allegation very seriously, as food safety is a top priority. We are working to verify the facts and welcome the partnership with the health department in this matter.”
The inspector is forwarding the manufacturer lot numbers of all the food products used for the burger to the Kentucky Department for Public Health on Tuesday for potential additional investigation. Hall said that will involve contacting the suppliers to check for contamination further up the line.
Spellman said her stepmother and father had taken her 5-year-old son to McDonald’s on Monday.
“I’ve got kids. That could have been my kid’s hamburger. That’s why I want people to know,” she said.
Her stepmother found the needle when she bit into the burger, Spellman said.
“It was in her mouth,” she said. They went to the emergency room at St. Joseph East hospital to get a hepatitis B vaccination and antibiotics.
Spellman’s stepmother and father declined to comment.