Lee Graves from Jacksonville, Florida, stopped in at McDonald’s drive-thru to grab a cold Coca-Cola. Instead of the delicious taste of The Real Thing, what he got was a bleach-flavored soda with a gob of something blue in it. The culprit? A bleach cleaning pod, similar to Tide Pod, was at the bottom of the cup! After a trip to the emergency room and being treated for bleach poisoning, he was left wondering why this happened.
In an understandably angry Facebook post, Graves recounted his story:
So how about the girl at McDonald's tried to murder me today for telling her "this was supposed to be a large Coke". …Posted by Lee Graves on Thursday, May 17, 2018
In the full post Graves write:
“So how about the girl at McDonald’s tried to murder me today for telling her “this was supposed to be a large Coke”. Evidently that warranted putting some kind of industrial tide pod in it (containing bleach) that made it erupt like a volcano 30 seconds later. I was on the phone at the time and was like wtf and took a couple big gulps to try to stop it and it tasted like chlorine. I thought my taste buds were off since I’ve had a bunch of dental work done this week but when I took the lid off I saw a big clump of blue goo. I thought she’d spit in it and it wasn’t until an hour later when I dumped it out that I realized it was much worse. FF to now and my stomach is cramping and I feel a little nauseous. I’ve had 2 rounds of blood work and 2 IVs and an EKG and some kind of pill. I’m already restless and ready to go home and will probably insist soon but they’re talking about keeping me overnight and possibly a GI scope. At this point I’ve filed a report with McDonald’s, the health department, and called JSO and they’re taking it seriously enough to immediately assign a detective to the case. I haven’t spoken with them personally yet but they were headed to review the tape and I’m hoping they were able to obtain the video evidence. I’ll be satisfied as long as she ultimately gets at least 6 months. What a pain. I’m working 20 hr days right now and really didn’t have time for this nonsense. What kills me is I was on the phone at the time and literally just whispered “this was supposed to be a large”… it wasn’t like we had words. Smh.”
The post went viral and the story was picked up by all the news stations in Jacksonville. They reached out for comments from Graves and from McDonald’s. Graves had a lot to say, McDonald’s had little.
When asked to recount his trip to the drive-thru, Graves said that when it drove away, the soda “erupted like a darn volcano that’s a science experiment that a kid would do. I don’t want Coke all over my truck, so I grab it and I take a couple of gulps to stop it from foaming.”
Those gulps would be the only taste he got because he immediately noticed a funny taste. “My initial impression was that it tasted like chlorine,” Graves said.
So he dumped the rest out and that’s when he discovered the pod.
Graves doesn’t understand what happened. Graves thinks it must have been intentional by the woman serving at the drive-thru. “The girl hands me a small Coke and as I’m talking on the phone I politely whisper to her, ‘ma’am this is supposed to be a large, I ordered a large Coke.’ Well, she mumbled something, I could not understand what she said. She shut the window.”
In another interview, Graves stated: “I wasn’t rude to the girl,” he said, “so I would like to think she was having a bad day and I was just an innocent victim, you know. Hopefully I wasn’t an intended target.”
McDonald’s, for their part, say they are investigating and have admitted that they do use blue pods to clean. The employee at the window says she “remembered handling Graves’ order and acknowledged the mix-up over the drink size, but she denied putting anything in the drink. She says the only time she touched the soda was to put the lid on and that she wasn’t upset about Graves’ correction.”
Graves recovered from the bleach poisoning and is back at work, McDonald’s is still investigating.