A piece of finger got into the sandwich of a customer last week at Arby’s on N. West Avenue, the Jackson police and Jackson County Health Department reported.
A 14-year-old boy who had visited the drive-through window with his mother was eating the sandwich and pulled a pad of a finger out of his mouth, Jackson police Deputy Chief John Holda said. He described it as the fingerprint portion.
“Arby’s wants to reassure customers that we are committed to providing quality food in a safe and healthy environment. We are deeply concerned and apologetic to the guest involved in this unfortunate incident,” says a letter signed by John Gray. Gray is vice president of corporate communications and public relations for Atlanta-based Arby’s Restaurant Group Inc. The general manager at the Jackson restaurant deferred comment.
In the letter, dated Wednesday, Gray called what happened an “isolated and unfortunate accident” during which an employee was injured at the business at 952 N. West Ave.
An employee had sliced her finger while operating a meat slicer at the restaurant and left her station without immediately saying she cut herself, said Steve Hall, environmental health director for the Jackson County Health Department. Other workers were filling an order before they became aware of what happened, he said.
Holda said the employee had gone to a back room to wash or treat herself.
Arby’s has been unable to confirm the details and is conducting a thorough investigation, according to the letter.
The employee went to Allegiance Health and police were called to the hospital at about 1:37 p.m., Holda said.
Hall said the emergency dispatch center notified the health department and the department did an investigation.
Arby’s stopped using the meat slicer and followed proper protocol in breaking it down and cleaning it, he said. The restaurant was cooperative with the department, he said.
“Upon learning of the incident, the franchisee’s restaurant team shut down food production and thoroughly cleaned and sanitized the restaurant,” Gray’s letter stated.
Arby’s was allowed to remain open, the letter stated and Hall confirmed it did not close. “Once the employee reported the incident, all product was disposed of,” Hall wrote in an email, answering a question about whether food was tossed as a result of the occurrence.
Nothing that occurred was considered criminal, Holda said. “It’s an accident.”
He said the officer spoke with the customer and his mother at the hospital. The two brought the finger piece there, he said.
Both the boy and the employee are fine, he said.