A mum claims her teenage daughter was left ‘traumatised’ after allegedly finding a half-smoked cigarette in their Burger King chicken fries.
Jenn Holifield says she treated herself and daughter Blaze, 14, to a bag of nine chicken fries each and some jalapeno poppers from the Meridian, Mississippi, in the USA.
The pair had started tucking into their meal on the four-minute drive home and claim that after she’d already scoffed six of the fries, they found a half-smoked menthol cigarette in the bag.
Salon owner Jenn says she used to treat Blaze, son Dalton, 20, and daughter, Jenna, 13, to Burger King once a week with Blaze always getting the same order, but has now vowed to never go back.
Burger King said that the incident “does not reflect [their] very high standards” and they had reached out to the franchisee to “learn more and take necessary action to correct this issue”.
Jenn said: “She wanted some chicken fries and jalapeno poppers. That’s all she ever gets, it’s her main thing when we go there.
“She got her chicken fries and on the way home she starts talking to me about how she smells a cigarette.
“She’s a little dramatic sometimes so I said ‘there ain’t no cigarette, whatever’.
“She starts eating, I start eating. She keeps saying she smells a cigarette.
“About six chicken fries in, she said ‘oh my God, there is a cigarette in my chicken fries’. I said ‘what, no way’.
“We were pulling up at home so I got out and had a look. I said ‘oh my God, that’s a half-smoked cigarette’.
“I couldn’t believe there was a half-smoked cigarette in her chicken fries.
“She started getting really upset because someone had smoked off of that. There’s saliva on it.
“It’s disgusting, she was traumatised.
“She’s never going to eat there again and I will never eat there again.
“In all the years that I’ve eaten fast food, I’ve found a hair before which is common but a cigarette, absolutely not.”
Jenn claims she immediately called the branch and was offered a full refund if she went back to the store but says she didn’t feel comfortable returning.
Jenn said she has struggled to get hold of someone from head office but kept the chicken fries and cigarette in a zip lock bag along with the receipt as evidence.
She says she suspects that the cigarette was either planted in the bag purposely or it accidentally fell out from behind a staff member’s ear.
Jenn says she also smokes but a different brand to the one found in the bag and not menthol.
Jenn said: “I got in touch with a manager about 45 minutes later. He offered for me to go up there and get my money which I did not at all feel comfortable doing.
“I wasn’t going down there with someone else’s cigarette saying ‘does this cigarette belong to somebody?’ I felt very uneasy doing that.
“I wanted to get in touch with anybody. Regardless of how it got in there, whether they did it intentionally or it fell out from behind your ear, you shouldn’t have a cigarette in a kitchen where you’re preparing food.”
Jenn posted a photo of the photo of the cigarette on Facebook in the hopes of raising awareness so this doesn’t happen to someone else and as a way to reach out to Burger King.
Jenn said: “I posted it on Facebook because I was searching social media for the number I needed to call.
“I don’t want anything from the situation other than it to be known that we found a cigarette. Some people called us liars, some said it was disgusting, some laughed. I don’t find it funny that there was a cigarette in my food.”
A Burger King spokeswoman said: “This incident does not reflect the very high standards Burger King and its franchisees collectively share to provide guests a tasty, well-prepared meal at a fair price.
“We have reached out to the franchisee to learn more and will take necessary action to correct this issue.”