Janet Yarbrough-Moody says she isn’t chasing a lawsuit. But she does have a whopper of a story about Burger King involving an ice-cream sundae and a metal screw — and she’s furious that the Miami-based corporation isn’t taking the allegations seriously.
“It’s like they don’t even care,” she says. “I can’t understand how you can run a business like that.”
The middle-aged massage therapist and North Miami Beach resident doesn’t eat often at BK, but she does a have soft spot for its soft serve. So one Monday evening in early February, she and her boyfriend Gene stopped at the location on West Dixie Highway in North Miami. He ordered an ice-cream cone for her and a vanilla ice-cream sundae with chocolate syrup for himself.
As they were driving home, Gene pulled out a spoon and took a few bites. All fine. But then, as they were parking the car outside their North Miami Beach condo, Gene felt something cold and solid in his mouth. At first he thought it might have been a nut that made its way into the sundae by mistake.
It was actually a screw. “He’s like, ‘Can you believe this? Look what I found in my ice cream,’?” Yarbrough-Moody says.
Gene set aside the quarter-inch screw, and Yarbrough-Moody snapped a picture (which she shared with New Times). A few minutes later, she called Burger King’s customer service number. No answer. She called the restaurant they had just visited. No answer, three times. She also sent an email through the corporation’s feedback page. No answer.
The next day, Yarbrough-Moody called corporate a second time and was told she would be contacted later. The following day, when she called again, she was vaguely told that a report had been sent, then blown off. On Friday, she says, she called the store again and got nowhere.
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She then mailed a letter detailing her experience and quoting back the company’s “doing the right thing” responsibility statement. After a month, with still no response, she re-sent it. Again, she says, no response.
All she wants, Yarbrough-Moody says, is some basic customer-service acknowledgment. The screw could have knocked out someone’s tooth or even choked someone. The ice-cream machine could be defective and potentially dangerous.
“Nobody seems to have any interest,” she says. “There was a piece of metal in their food, and they can’t even acknowledge that.”
A representative from Burger King provided a statement to New Times promising that "food safety is a top priority" and the company is investigating the incident.