No excuse for razor blade breakfast

Waking up early enough for breakfast isn’t something a lot of college students have time for, so fast food is often the answer.

However, a recent incident at a Bradenton McDonald’s might make students think twice before they bite into their next fast food breakfast sandwich.

Carolyn Bovey of Bradenton found a razor blade in her Sausage McMuffin Wednesday morning, and after seeing the story on News Channel 8, I quickly became disgusted.

It’s uncertain whether the razor blade was put there on purpose or if it fell onto the grill and got cooked into the egg. But either way, McDonald’s – my first employer at age 14 – is likely to face a lawsuit, and deservedly so.

I’m not a believer in Americans who take every little thing to court in an attempt to make easy money, but this is far from a little thing.

If the razor blade was put in the sandwich on purpose, then whoever put it there needs to be tried for attempted murder after he or she is checked out for mental illness. However, it likely happened on accident.

People joke about fast food employees spitting in food or tampering with it in other ways. While these things do happen occasionally, I don’t think someone working the morning shift on a weekday – usually mature adults when I worked at McDonald’s – would deliberately put a razor blade in someone’s food.

The fact that it probably happened on accident is almost as disturbing as if it was done intentionally.

There’s no need for a razor blade to be in the grill area at a McDonald’s. Maybe that’s why it’s against the company’s procedures. The only need for a razor blade inside the restaurant that brags of serving billions is to cut boxes. The only time a box should be cut is in an effort to make room for consolidation, or to fit more in the trash bin. Both of these tasks are done in the storage room, which doesn’t contain any exposed food that is cooked on the grill. Any box that would be found in the grill area could easily be opened without the aid of a razor blade.

As someone who worked at McDonald’s for more than two years as an immature teenager surrounded by other immature teenagers, I never saw a razor blade that wasn’t in its holder. The picture on shows the blade sticking halfway out of the cooked egg.

Even if a razor blade was in the grill area, this incident never would’ve happened if the blade had a holder. It also wouldn’t have happened if the employee cooking the eggs was paying any attention.

All too often you can turn on the news and see someone trying to sue a corporation for millions of dollars, and McDonald’s is no stranger to this. In 1994, an elderly woman was awarded nearly a half million dollars when she was severely burned by excessively hot coffee. At first I thought it was a joke that someone could sue a restaurant for serving coffee too hot – coffee is supposed to be hot.

However, after learning more about the story, including that she only took her case to court because McDonald’s refused to pay her medical bills, I began to believe her lawsuit was necessary.

So what about the case of the razor blade? To me, it’s simple: Razor blades are sharp objects that can cause serious injury and even death. They don’t belong in the kitchen at any restaurant, and they aren’t allowed in the kitchen at McDonald’s.

Compared to other companies I worked for during my teenage years, Mcdonald’s had the most security procedures by far. I thought most of the procedures were pointless and a waste of my time, but they helped keep sharp objects out of food need to be followed.

Should everyone who gets burned by McDonald’s coffee be awarded money? Absolutely not. People should know it’s hot by reading the warning on the cup.

But unless Bovey’s Sausage McMuffin came in a wrapper with a warning that there may be a sharp object in her sandwich, she should be compensated.

Kevin Smetana is a senior majoring in mass communications.