DECATUR, Ala. - The Alabama chapter of the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR) wants a McDonald's employee identified and fired after claims that bacon was intentionally added to the sandwiches of a Muslim family Monday afternoon.
“Based on the evidence in this incident, as well as the unprecedented spike in anti-Muslim bigotry nationwide, we believe this was an intentional act of religious and ethnic bigotry,” said Khaula Hadeed, the executive director of CAIR-Alabama.
WHNT News 19 reached out to McDonald’s corporate and received the following statement Tuesday evening, “We want to assure our customers that this was not an intentional act by our employees,” said Rick Walter, local McDonald’s Owner/Operator. “We value every customer and strive to ensure all orders are accurately prepared and served. We are looking into the matter to understand what happened.”
CAIR says the family visited Point Mallard Park and stopped at the restaurant located at 3342 Point Mallard Parkway Southeast and bought 14 of the same sandwich.
Hadeed tells WHNT News 19 that the family often orders the specific chicken sandwich because it does not have bacon on it, as per the menu.
"They started feeling it tasted different, like a smoky taste, and they got suspicious," explained Hadeed.
She says they opened the sandwiches and found the bacon on every single sandwich, by that time, she says, they had consumed about six of the sandwiches.
"They weren't regular strips of bacon," said Hadeed. "They were small, like torn pieces that were placed, some on top of the chicken patty, some underneath."
Hadeed likens it to giving peanuts to a kid with a peanut allergy. She says she reached out to McDonald's Monday for a response, as of Wednesday, both the Alabama chapter and national headquarters said they hadn't heard back.
Hadeed says the family spoke to the manager of the store, who said it was a mistake, but would not identify the employee responsible.
One employee, Hadeed says, told the family that the bacon 'fell into' the sandwiches from a shelf above the prep area.
"The reason we're basically asking the folks at McDonald's to investigate is because this is essentially harassment," said Hadeed.
She explains the family was 'visibly Muslim,' with multiple relatives wearing headscarves.
She says one of the family members threw up multiple times, including once in the restaurant, "McDonald's should investigate this incident, identify and terminate the employees responsible, and take proactive steps to satisfy this American family's concerns, starting with an apology."