Va. doughnut shop clerk accused of spraying food with chemical loses job

WASHINGTON — A Virginia Dunkin’ Donuts employee was fired Tuesday after being accused of spraying baked goods with cleaning solution that contained bleach, according to the restaurant chain.

A group of five teens who walked into a Dunkin’ Donuts on Monday night in Fairfax County was hoping for a box of free doughnuts. Fairfax County police spokeswoman Monica Meeks said another clerk had given the teens free doughnuts before at the same location on 2946 Chain Bridge Road in Oakton, Virginia.

But Meeks said the clerk working Monday night resisted, saying it was against company policy. He then told the teens to return, and when the group of five, 14- to 16-year-olds came back, he gave them a box of doughnuts allegedly sprayed with a cleaning solution containing bleach.

“We are aware of the incident involving a crew member at a Dunkin’ Donuts franchise in Oakton, Virginia,” a company statement said. “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.”

Meeks said two of the teens ate whole doughnuts, the other three each took a bite, which was enough for them to realize the taste was off.

None of the teens was seriously injured. But now the teens parents are deciding whether to pursue charges. Investigators have confiscated the remaining doughnuts as evidence, as prosecutors look into possible charges of misdemeanor assault.

Valerie Bonk

Valerie Bonk started working at WTOP in 2016 and has lived in Howard County, Maryland, her entire life. She's thrilled to be a reporter for WTOP telling stories on air. She works as both a television and radio reporter in the Maryland and D.C. areas. 

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