HOLLYWOOD, Fla. – What was supposed to be an evening snack has turned into 365 days of non-stop worry and unexpected medical bills for a South Florida couple.
Magela and Rodrigo Esquivel told Local 10 News they were served up an employee’s blood at a Dunkin drive thru in Hollywood.
“What if we are infected with HIV, hepatitis, anything,” Rodrigo Esquivel said.
“I am very worried about our long-term health,” his wife, Magela, said.
According to their receipt, it was 8:49 p.m., Sunday, Feb. 16, and they were hungry.
Magela and Rodrigo pulled into the Dunkin Donuts at 516 North State Road 7 and ordered two doughnuts.
Magela said she noticed the Dunkin employee’s hand was wrapped in a napkin when she was handed the bag through the drive through window.
“I didn’t think anything of it,” she told Local 10 News Investigator Jeff Weinsier.
Magela started eating her Boston cream doughnut and handed a jelly-filled one to her husband.
“Then, I get a napkin and see a red stain on it and I’m like, ‘What is that?’ I’m like, ‘That is not jelly,’” she said.
Magela is a nurse.
“I grabbed the bag because it had the rest of the napkins and I see another red stain on the bag and I’m like, ‘Hold on.’ So we pulled off to the side of the road and I’m like, ‘This is blood. This is not jelly,’” Magela said.
The couple looked at their hands to make sure they didn’t have any cuts.
They raced back to the Dunkin.
According to video that was taken during the incident, 10 minutes had passed.
When they pulled back to the drive thru window the same employee was still serving customers with her finger still wrapped.
The video exchange was caught on camera.
“My doughnut was all full of blood,” Magela told the employee. “My napkin and my bag is all full of blood.”
The employee claimed she had just learned she was cut and was cleaning herself up.
“I’ll give you another doughnut,” the employee told Magela.
“No, I don’t want another doughnut!” Magela yelled back. “I ate half of it with blood that I don’t know what you may have.”
Magela said she stopped the recording because she got nauseous and threw up.
She believes she did ingest some of the employee’s blood.
Magela and Rodrigo went to Jackson Memorial Hospital to be tested.
The couple must be tested two more times in a year.
“My peace of mind is going to come a year from now when I’m cleared completely by the doctor,” Magela said.
Dunkin Brands Consumer Care offered Magela a $25 gift card that she declined.
The Dunkin where this incident happened is a franchise and is not corporately owned and operated.
State records show the location is owned by Hollywood & 411 Inc.
Mehrdad Moghaddam is listed as the President/Director.
Weinsier confronted a man named Dan who was wearing a shirt that said “Friendly Management Group” at another location owned by the same man.
Dan refused to talk to Weinsier.
“How come no one from franchise can talk to us? No one has a comment?” Weinsier asked.
“That is correct. Have a nice day.” Dan told Weinsier before he walked away.
Magela is also concerned about others who may have been served up blood that Sunday evening.
Only after Local 10 News got involved did the franchisee apparently offer to pay the Esquivel’s medical bills.
But Magela said there has been no apology.
“The franchisee who owns and operates this location informed us that upon learning of the incident, he reiterated the proper food safety and quality standards protocol with the crew member, and reached out to the guest to resolve the matter and apologize for the negative experience,” said
Michelle King, Senior Director of Global Public Relations Dunkin’ Brands Group, Inc.
No one would confirm if the employee was fired for her actions.
The Esquivel’s have hired Fort Lauderdale attorney Blake Dolman to represent them in a possible lawsuit.