COLUMBUS, Ohio – A McDonald’s restaurant on 619 Harrisburg Pike in Columbus, Ohio was forced to close temporarily after health inspectors discovered a crack pipe in a customer’s drive-thru breakfast order. The incident came to light when the customer, who wishes to remain anonymous, shared their unsettling experience on Reddit, expressing concern about the potential harm it could have caused, especially if the order had been a child’s Happy Meal. The customer declined the offer of a refund and instead reported the incident to Franklin County Public Health.
Following the complaint, health inspectors responded by immediately closing down the McDonald’s on Wednesday. During an inspection of the ongoing construction work at the location, inspectors found multiple health code violations.
The health inspectors’ report listed several unsanitary conditions, including dust, debris, screws, unassembled computer equipment, and wooden trim pieces found on top of beverage service equipment such as soda dispensers, frappuccino machines, frozen beverage dispensers, and coffee machines.
Columbus Public Health, in response to the complaint, conducted a thorough inspection of the McDonald’s location and subsequently filed a food inspection report, resulting in the temporary closure of the restaurant. The department conducted an additional inspection on Thursday, clearing the store to reopen.
The details of the incident corroborated the customer’s account. The general manager, a six-year employee, stated she packed the order and handed it to a 10-year employee who passed it to the customer. The customer returned to the window at 10:18 a.m. to inform the workers about the crack pipe found in the bag. Eventually, the supervisor, a 20-year employee, contacted the police and filed a complaint.
While the inspector’s report did not confirm or deny whether the object was indeed a crack pipe, it confirmed that the inspection was conducted in response to the customer’s complaint. The inspection report documented the extensive construction being carried out and noted the presence of construction workers in food preparation and customer seating areas, resulting in debris, trash, and dust being present throughout the store. The McDonald’s has since reopened as of 12 p.m. Thursday.