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VANCOUVER, Wash. – You may never look at your warm, neatly wrapped drive-thru cheeseburger the same way.

A Clark County Sheriff’s deputy knows he never will. Then again, he may never go through a drive-thru and buy one again.

It’s easy to see why. Last March, Deputy Edward Blysma was in full uniform in his marked K-9 patrol car when he ordered a Whopper at the Vancouver Burger King drive-thru.

Bylsma, who suspected something was suspicious when he was handed the burger, says, “I have heard of fast food employees doing things to police officer’s food before, but I never thought that this would happen to me. Based upon the suspicious behavior of the employee who handed the food to me, I carefully unwrapped the burger and pulled the meat patty off the bottom bun I found slimy, clear and white phlegm.”

Blysma’s attorney says DNA testing proved the substance had come from Burger King employee, Gary Herb.

Attorney Anne Bremner says, “Police officers expect to deal with danger on the job, but they should not fear this kind of exposure to communicable diseases when they simply try to order a hamburger” states Bremner. “This is particularly important for police officers, who have few food choices when working late night or early morning shifts. Unfortunately, this was not Deputy Bylsma’s first time at this particular Burger King, and the true extent of Burger King’s negligent hiring and supervision will likely never be known.”

She went on to explain, “This is a clear case of malicious intent against a uniformed police officer by two Burger King employees, both of whom had criminal records, one of whom has Hepatitis” says Bremner. “More importantly, this incident demonstrates the dangers when fast food restaurants put their bottom line before public safety. Not only were these two employees left unsupervised, but they were encouraged by their manager to evade the police investigation following discovery of the tainted burger. The blatant disregard for the public well-being exhibited by Burger King is appalling.” Bremner says the latest test could not rule out feces.

Since the incident, Bylsma hasn’t been able to bring himself to eat anything other than homemade food. He also suffers insomnia, and worries about contracting hepatitis or other food borne diseases. Bremner says Bylsma has received no apology or any assurance that this incident will not be repeated. Through his lawsuit, Bylsma seeks a change in Burger King’s hiring and supervision policies, as well as unspecified damages.

The complaint will be filed in Clark County Superior Court.

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