Officer makes amends with Burger King over beef about order, restaurant owner says

File photo.  (Photo by Scott Olson/Getty Images)
Caption
File photo. (Photo by Scott Olson/Getty Images)

Credit: Scott Olson

Credit: Scott Olson

A police officer whose social media post condemning a Florida Burger King for sprinkling dirt on his order has made amends with the restaurant after learning it was likely seasoning or particles from the flame-broiled cooking process, the restaurant owner said.

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Fort Myers police Officer Tim McCormick posted about being served what he thought was an adulterated sourdough burger from Burger King Tuesday evening, getting more than 20,000 views before the post was made private, according to the Fort Myers News-Press.

"At first I thought it was just burned old bacon," McCormick wrote in the post, that has since been made private. "I was hungry and ate the burger, at the last bite I saw dirt and grit on the burger. In disgust, I threw it out of the window."

McCormick made the post while off-duty and on his personal Facebook page, so it does not violate the department's social media guidelines, Capt. Jay Rodriguez, a department spokesman, told the News-Press.

Dan Fitzpatrick, who owns 90 Burger King franchises in Florida, including the one McCormick stopped at, showed the officer footage from inside the restaurant as employees made his order. Fitzpatrick also showed the footage to other officers who were convinced no dirt was added to the burger.

Fitzpatrick said the salt and pepper seasoning and the flame-broiled cooking process could have left what the officer thought was dirt, according to the News-Press.

"He had it wrong, and I don't mean to embarrass him at all," Fitzpatrick told the News-Press. "The 20,000 people who read that, I frankly hope he can reach them again, but I don't really care, because he knows what the story is, and the media has been diligently reporting the facts of what really happened. We don't want to embarrass him. We don't want to embarrass the department."

Fitzpatrick said McCormick would make a retraction on Facebook, according to the News-Press. McCormick did not give a comment to the News-Press.

After the misunderstanding, officers and other emergency personnel flooded the restaurant to dine there in support.

“Here’s what I’ll tell you: police officers, first responders, military people, they are being ridiculed by the media and in social media at a level that is unprecedented,” Fitzpatrick said. “Whatever the conditions were, the fact that my employees were improperly accused, I should give this officer, because of his service, the benefit of the doubt, forgive and move on. I respect this officer and his department. We love police officers. I’m not happy that this happened, but at the end of the day, we’re moving on.”