Have you ever been a frustrated food service employee, annoyed with that customer who never quite seems satisfied with their order? Have you ever joked about possibly spitting in someone’s food? (Full disclosure, I thought about it, but never did it, while working at the on-campus Coffeehouse in college.) As it turns out, it is not so funny when it happens in real life. For anybody.
A couple of weeks ago, a mother and daughter ordered food, including sweet tea, from the drive-thru at a McDonald’s in Simpsonville, South Carolina. Upon receiving their order, they learned that the tea was not sweet. Or at least not sweet to their liking, so they went back and asked for new drinks. They noticed that these weren’t sweet either, but they decided to go home and sweeten them there.
This is the part of the story where the phlegm comes in. Stay with me.
They noticed the drinks weren’t sweet. That means they tasted them. With the lids on, I hope. Upon removing the lid of one of the drinks, they found “a large deposit of phlegm on top of the drinks.”
I guess someone wasn’t happy with having to re-pour a couple of iced teas.
This would all be just (extremely) gross, but then the employee that is allegedly visible on the surveillance tape “leaning his face down to the drinks before filling them” was arrested. He is now charged with “unlawful and malicious tampering with food.” That’s where this stops having any humor content at al:
From the South Carolina Code:
(C) The following offenses are Class C felonies and the maximum terms established for a Class C felony, as set forth in Section 16-1-20(A), apply:
16-3-75 Unlawful and malicious tampering with human drug product or food.
It is unlawful for a person to maliciously tamper with a human drug product or food item with the intent to do bodily harm to a person.
A person who violates the provisions of this section is guilty of a felony and, upon conviction, must be imprisoned not more than twenty years.
Spitting is unsanitary, potentially hazardous, and gross, but twenty years? What are some other Class C felonies?
16-3-70 Administering or attempting to administer poison
16-3-85(C)(2) Aiding in the death of a child by abuse or neglect
16-3-95(A) Inflicting great bodily injury upon a child
16-3-600(B) Aggravated assault and battery
16-3-653 Criminal sexual conduct Second degree
There are more, but I think you get the idea. I’m guessing that South Carolina legislators had bigger fish in mind than fast-food phlegm hockers when they wrote this statute, but it’s the law. I doubt this case would merit twenty years if the guy is convicted, but wow.
Moral of the story is don’t spit. Just don’t. (I tried to come up with something like “phlegm doesn’t pay,” but no.)
I’m actually sort of curious to know if anyone has had a similar experience. Yes, I’m being nonspecific as to whether you were the spitter or spittee. Leave me comments!!!