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Police say burger metal is local

October 05, 2000

Police say burger metal is local



By KIMBERLY YAKOWSKI / Staff Writer


Pieces of metal swallowed by a Westminster, Md., man after he bit into a hamburger at a fast-food restaurant in Hagerstown got into the sandwich locally, Hagerstown City Police said Thursday.

Michael Patrick Holland, 28, whose mouth was cut when he tried to eat the sandwich Saturday, Sept. 30, was discharged from Washington County Hospital Monday.

Holland had said he took two quick bites of a hamburger at the McDonald's at 330 E. Washington St., and noticed a sharp pain in his throat as he swallowed.

Lt. Gary Spielman said authorities, after inspecting the restaurant and its supplies of food, determined the metal "was introduced inside the hamburger."

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No other tampered food was discovered and no other diners have reported finding metal in their food, he said.

Spielman said he was unsure what kind of metal was found in Holland's burger.

Restaurant owner Mark Levine was away at a training seminar Thursday and could not be reached for comment.

Levine said Monday all security procedures were in place, as they were when the incident occurred.

Spielman said police were still investigating in an attempt to determine whether the incident was accidental or malicious.

Police were continuing to interview employees, he said.

"We are still looking into a number of areas. Nothing has been discounted," he said.

When first notified of the incident, police contacted the FBI, since food tampering is a federal offense, and the U.S. Department of Agriculture, in case an entire shipment of meat was contaminated, said Spielman.

Holland said in a phone interview from his hospital room Sunday that he had come to Hagerstown with his grandmother Saturday to shop and they decided to stop at McDonald's around 1:30 p.m.

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