Dunkin’ Donuts has more than 11,300 restaurants worldwide, including more than 8,000 in the U.S.
“Working at a Dunkin’ Donuts franchise is more than a job, it’s an opportunity to gain a position that can offer skills, flexibility and career mobility,” says the corporate website. “It’s the opportunity and the chance to be a part of something bigger; part of a team of fun-loving, dedicated people committed to keeping America running.”
Although spraying bleach on doughnuts is definitely not part of the job, that’s what a Dunkin’ Donuts employee at Oakton, Virginia has been accused of doing.
According to Fairfax County police, the employee served a group of teens doughnuts tainted with bleach spray on the evening of July 25, reports The Washington Post.
The teens had reportedly been to the store earlier in the day, at which time they were given doughnuts that were scheduled to be thrown out.
When they came back later for more free doughnuts, the employee refused to accommodate their request for another handout.
According to police, the employee eventually compromised, telling the teens they would be given more doughnuts if they come back later. But what they were not told is that the doughnuts would be poisoned with bleach.
After eating some of the doughnuts and realizing they had been tainted, the teens called the police.
Fortunately, none of the the teens who ate the alleged bleach-doused doughnuts were sickened or required medical attention. Police still launched a criminal investigation.
In a statement issued in reaction to the public relations crisis, the restaurant said:
“At Dunkin' Donuts restaurants, the safety and well-being of customers is a top priority and we have stringent food safety standards for all restaurants. We are aware of the incident involving a crew member at a Dunkin' Donuts franchise in Oakton, Virginia. In this instance, we have been informed by the franchise owner that he has terminated the employee involved and is cooperating fully with the local authorities. As this is a pending police matter, it is inappropriate for us to comment further and, as such, any additional questions can be directed to the police department."
In another bleach-related story, Dunkin' Donuts has reportedly tested alternatives to using titanium dioxide as a whitening agent in the powdered sugar it uses for some of its doughnuts, reports Food Safety News.