McDonald's happy meal boxes are typically full of toys and goodies, from stickers to figurines of Pixar and Disney characters to classic Pokemon. However, along with a McDonald's happy meal toy in his cardboard box, an 11-year-old boy in Maine was given prescription drugs.
McDonald's Happy Meals
McDonald's Corporation uses happy meals as a way to attract kids, and the gift boxes contain a hamburger, cheeseburger or Chicken McNuggets, a side item like French fries or apple slices, and a drink, along with a toy. McDonald's lovers often aspire to have a "full set" of a type of toy, which can sometimes be sold on Ebay.
These beloved toys are a central part of pop culture and have long been celebrated on social media, from Despicable Me minions to Space Jam characters.
Not Your Typical Happy Meal
However, a McDonald's restaurant in Maine recently sold a Happy Meal containing more than food and toys. According to the Auburn Police Department, the boy's mother called the police on June 30th after discovering the prescription drug Suboxone in the kids' meal.
The police investigated the claim immediately, interviewing staff members at the fast food chain and reviewing video surveillance footage, and coming to the conclusion that the incident was accidental.
Police explained, "The investigation has determined that an employee, while preparing meals for the drive-through, had the Suboxone prescription in a shirt pocket, along with a BIC pen. The employee bent over to retrieve something from behind the counter, at which time the prescription and pen fell from the shirt pocket, landing in the Happy Meal box."
The McDonald's employee, Michael Sevey, wasn't aware that the drugs had fallen out until the investigation occurred, authorities say. The employee in question admitted to obtaining the drugs from another coworker, Mariah Grant, during the shift.
Two Employees Charged
Both Grant and Sevey have been charged by authorities- Sevey for unlawful possession and Grant for unlawful trafficking. Both must appear in court on Wednesday, November 3rd. The drug, Suboxone, is a medication used to treat narcotic dependence, specifically opioid use disorders and opiate addiction. However, it can be abused if used without a prescription.
Taylor Goble, the owner of the McDonald's where the incident occurred, says that "these individuals are no longer employed by my organization."
As he told PEOPLE, "in our restaurants, nothing is more important than the safety and well-being of our employees and customers. I was shocked and disappointed by the behavior of these crew members, which goes against the values we have as an organization and will not be tolerated."
The woman who purchased the Happy Meal, Shirlee Marchesseault, was furious when she found the prescription drugs. "My blood was boiling. I didn't even know what to do at that point, so I called the police," she said. "I'm just wondering, like, how often does this happen? It shouldn't be in the hands of any child. It's dangerous."