Police Officers ‘Poisoned’ At Shake Shack Were Hospitalized Without Ever Showing Symptoms

Top New York Police Department leadership launched an investigation and union officials decried violence against police after three officers were allegedly “poisoned” at a Shake Shack last week.
The incident, however, appears to be much ado about nothing. The three officers, while hospitalized, never fell ill, and management at Shake Shack has convincingly argued that store employees could not have known they were serving police officers, much less tried to poison the officers with bleach, according to The New York Post.
On June 15, a team of police investigators arrived at a Shake Shack in Manhattan and blocked it off with crime tape as agents began investigating whether an employee at the store had intentionally tried to poison three police officers. The investigation wrapped up quickly, and NYPD Chief of Detectives Rodney Harrison announced later that day that “there was no criminality” by any employees.
The investigation, in hindsight, appears to be a severe overreaction after three police officers picked up what they thought were bad milkshakes at the Shake Shack. All three took sips of the shakes, which were ordered online and picked up at the store, and each thought their shakes tasted off. The officers told the manager who apologized and gave each a voucher for free food.
The shakes likely tasted acidic because the milkshake machine had just been cleaned when the officers ordered their shakes and residual milk remover remained on the machine parts. The officers were not aware of that, however, and relayed their experience to their sergeant, who immediately ordered a full investigation into the Shake Shack and sent the three officers to Bellevue Hospital.
After the investigation began, however, police groups were characterizing the incident as an attack on police. The president of the Police Benevolent Association, Pat Lynch, sent out a statement warning police officers “to carefully inspect any prepared food item they purchase while on duty for possible contamination” and condemning violence against police officers.
“This evening, several MOS assigned to a protest detail in lower Manhattan took a meal at the Shake Shack location on Broadway and Fulton Street. At some point during their meal period, the MOS discovered that a toxic substance, believed to be bleach, had been placed in their beverages,” Lynch said. “The contamination was not discovered until the MOS had already ingested a portion of their beverages. They are currently at the hospital receiving treatment and are expected to recover.”
The Detectives’ Endowment Association (DEA) put out a statement claiming that the officers were “poisoned.”
“Tonight, three of our brothers in blue were intentionally poisoned by one or more workers at the Shake Shack at 200 Broadway in Manhattan,” The DEA said “After tasting the milkshakes they purchased they became ill, making it necessary for them to go to an area hospital. Fortunately, our fellow officers were not seriously harmed.”
Shake Shack responded to the incident Monday, as well, saying “We are horrified by the reports of police officers injured at our 200 Broadway Shack in Manhattan. We are working with the police in their investigation right now.”
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