COLUMBUS, Miss. (WCBI-TV) – The controversy continued Friday over the accusations against the restaurant Jack’s. The woman whose social media post went viral this week commented again, and the restaurant delivered a response.
As WCBI first reported, a woman made allegations that her daughter saw an employee at the restaurant contaminate someone’s food. She claims this woman put blood on a burger this past weekend at the Columbus location.
Jack’s released statements to WCBI Friday night. A spokesman said the company has looked at surveillance video, interviewed staff and cooperated with police. They added that the restaurant received an “A” rating this week from the state department of health.
The spokesman said the restaurant fired the employee allegedly involved in this incident before news of the accusations spread.
More of their statement is below:
“Upon learning of this alleged incident, Jack’s launched an internal investigation to determine if these claims are factual and if any procedures were violated… As part of this investigation, the company has reviewed several hours of restaurant surveillance footage and interviewed all employees working during the shift in question.”
WCBI spoke exclusively with the mother who’s making the allegations that her daughter was fired because she tried to report the incident.
Tabatha Hollins said it all started this past Saturday night when her 16-year-old daughter, Destiny, was working the night shift at Jack’s.
“I was just sitting there on my couch and all of a sudden I got a text from Destiny, it was OMFG, and with a 16 year old that could mean, oh my gosh my hair,” Hollins said.
But it was something much deeper than that. Hollins said her daughter then sent her a text message detailing how she just saw a fellow Jack’s employee intentionally contaminate a customer’s food.
“She said that she just stuck her fingers down her pants, and wiped her blood on the bun, licked the cheese, and put it on the burger,” Hollins said. “And I said Destiny, you’ve got to tell somebody.”
The mother claims her 16-year-old daughter tried to tell the assistant manager, but nothing happened.
“She said I told the manager and she went and asked her if she did it and she laughed,” she said. “And the manager took the food and took it to the car,” Hollins recalled.
Hollins said after trying to do the right thing and report the incident, Jack’s decided to fire her daughter.
“That right sent me over the edge because it told me that they didn’t believe what Destiny had to say,” she said. “They were going to try to sweep it under the carpet and they’re hoping that by shoving Destiny out of the door that it was all going to disappear. The only two people to be let go was the girl that did it and my daughter.”
However, Jack’s is saying otherwise. They are confirming that Destiny was fired, but in a recent statement, the restaurant said, “Claims that her daughter was terminated for attempting to report an alleged incident are completely unfounded and without merit.”
Now both Hollins and Jack’s agree that the two parties met. According to Jack’s, during this meeting, Hollins stated that the restaurant took the appropriate action in terminating her daughter for violating company policies.
Columbus Police Department has also gotten involved. As WCBI first reported Friday, there’s now a criminal investigation regarding the matter.
City spokesman Joe Dillon tells WCBI that someone claiming to be the alleged victim in this incident came forward and that’s when they got involved.
At this time, we don’t know what the victim told police and they’re not releasing her name. Police say that the alleged victim is a woman from Tupelo.
Dillon said police are reviewing surveillance video and interviewing people. Officers at the police department are calling this an unusual case and one that has their attention.
“The allegations that were made in this case were very, very serious and it’s a matter of public trust and if public safety,” Dillon said. “That’s the reason that he police department opened a criminal investigation on it today.”
Police have not made any arrests and no charges have been filed.