Health officials don’t crack down on McDonald’s worker spitting into customer’s drink


LAS VEGAS (KTNV) – You can call it disgusting. You can call it dangerous.

The woman who was the victim of a nightmare at the wheel completely agrees.

“It’s really serious. It’s reckless,” said Cynthia Baer, ​​who will never forget her Dec. 22 visit to the drive-through at her local McDonald’s, an independent franchise on Tropicana Avenue and Jones Boulevard.

She placed an order, then tried adding iced coffee at the end.

“And then the woman who came to bring me the glass to the third window looked angry, didn’t say anything to me – not their normal greeting or ‘thank you so much, have a nice day’ – nothing. drink and close the window aggressively, ”Baer said.

Things were going to get bad.

“It was the coffee, which I drank almost everything, that had mucus in it. A lot of saliva, saliva,” Baer recalls. “I felt violated! I felt absolutely violated and worried about what you could potentially get by ingesting someone’s spit.”

Five days after drinking the tainted coffee, “I realized I had symptoms of COVID. I got very sick, I was tested and it was positive. My children, about four days later, are also got very sick and tested positive for COVID. ” Baer said.

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There is no way to trace Baer’s COVID case to the cafe, but on a taped call with insurance company McDonald’s, she did bring it up.

“Well, I got COVID from that, besides drinking someone’s mucus,” Baer told the officer.

“And it’s like the vast majority,” he replied. “Usually when someone slips and breaks their arm, it’s really that simple. With that, I don’t even know where to start to be completely honest. I’m ready to work with you.”

The insurance agent told Baer that McDonald’s fired the employee after confronting her with surveillance video of the incident.

“The angle is not very clear but she recognized it, so to me, video or not, she said she did that,” the agent said.

McDonald’s offered her a few thousand dollars, which she has not accepted to date.

“To me, it’s like a threat to your life. It really is,” Baer said.

Food adulteration is a crime.

13 Investigators obtained the police report which identified the McDonald’s cashier as a suspect in the crime of Baer’s drink poisoning or tampering.

We are not naming her at this time because she has not been charged with a crime.

We contacted her several times for comment, but she did not respond.

The Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department has referred the case to the Clark County District Attorney, where it is currently under review.

So what about the agency responsible for protecting public health?

Despite McDonald’s confirmation of the incident and the employee’s dismissal, the Southern Nevada Health District says the agency was unable to obtain enough verifiable information to conduct an investigation.

No action was taken against the McDonald’s franchise or the former employee’s material handler card.

The health district said it had been “informed that the employee had been fired and the agency could not take any further action.”

A spokesperson sent a statement, adding: “The objective of the health district is to work in cooperation with the establishments it regulates. Our judicial control is limited. And … The health district has not received any information. as requested to follow up. on the incident. “

“There is sort of a loophole in the law,” said Clark County Commissioner Tick Segerblom, a member of the board of health, which oversees the health district.

“The fact that there’s no follow-up capacity with that particular employee to make sure he or she is no longer involved in the food business. That’s the scary part,” Segerblom said. .

Scott Black, chairman of the health board and city councilor for North Las Vegas, added in a statement: “It appears that operator McDonald’s was unwilling to share details or specifics regarding the matter. “

In fact, the health district says the first time the agency got the woman’s name was from 13 Investigates.

“If the restaurant refused to provide the information, that would obviously be a problem,” Segerblom said.

But 13 surveys get a different story than McDonald’s.

Through a public relations firm, franchise owner / operator F. Ronald Smith said in a statement, “We have been in direct contact with the Southern Nevada Health District. [since immediately after this incident was reported to us in December] and we have informed them that we are and always have been willing to work together to resolve this issue. “

We were also told that McDonald’s had asked the health district to revoke the former employee’s material handler card, but at that time they were told nothing could be done due to current district policies. health.

“Based on what you’ve discovered, we’ll take a deeper look at the issue and determine if there is a way – between the health card and the criminal justice system – that we can make sure that the people who are doing something like that don’t get by. more food, “Segerblom said.” Obviously there is a disconnect and we need to focus on that. “


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