Do you want ketchup on that mouseburger?
A Hudson County, NJ trucker claims he was ordered to deliver a load of mice-infested food to McDonald’s restaurants in Queens and Brooklyn, according to a Manhattan Federal Court lawsuit.
Darrin Winston, 32, a driver for upstate distributor Martin Brower, claimed he was delivering to a trio of Mickey D’s in East Flatbush, Flushing and Long Island City when he discovered the unwanted stowaways.
He said he heard and saw a mouse after unloading food racks at his second stop on Aug. 23.
The trucker voiced his concerns to dispatchers, telling one he “had seen a mouse jump out of the truck and was hearing the sounds of mice in the remaining trays of food.”
Winston, hired in April, “believed that delivering food contaminated by mice was against food safety laws, and refused to make the delivery, returning the food to dispatch” in Harriman, NY.
Days later, Winston claims he was wrongly suspended after he refused to deliver goods without the proper paperwork.
He was canned Sept. 11. The company made his life “miserable,” and fired him “in retaliation for his opposing Martin Brower’s unlawful practices,” Winston alleged.
Winston, who is seeking unspecified damages, is suing Martin Brower for violation of labor laws and wrongful termination.
“We hope that Mr. Winston’s brave actions in bringing these troubling matters to light do some good in creating positive change in workplace practices,” said Winston’s attorney, Jeffrey Risman.
A Martin Brower spokesperson said: “Health and safety are critically important to Martin Brower, and we take these allegations very seriously. We maintain the highest food safety standards and conduct regular audits of all our facilities in compliance with regulatory requirements.”
Said McDonald’s USA: “Nothing is more important than food safety, and McDonald’s has rigorous processes in place with all suppliers to ensure our high quality standards are met.”
Managers at the three restaurants said they didn’t recall any incidents involving rodents. All three restaurants received an “A” grade from the city Department of Health, public records show.