Earlier this year, Little Caesars revealed its $5.99 Hot-N-Ready Classic pizza, and promised that those takeout pies would “[make] lives more convenient.” Koddi Dunn might challenge that description, because there was nothing easy or convenient about her most recent Hot-N-Ready order.
Dunn told 11Alive that she stopped at the Little Caesars in Cornelia, Georgia because her kids were hungry after spending all day at their grandmother’s house. She picked up a Hot-N-Ready pepperoni pizza and handed it off to her 15-year-old son. He took a slice from the box, then passed it to his younger brother—and then their 2-year-old sister started screaming.
Scalding hot cheese and sauce had fallen from the box onto the girl’s hand and leg, and Dunn knew that they weren’t going home after all. She drove straight to the Emergency Room at Gwinnett Medical Center, where a doctor confirmed that young Jordyn had second-degree burns. The diagnosis couldn’t have been a difficult one: The girl’s skin was already dotted with large blisters.
After Jordyn was released from the hospital, Dunn drove back to Little Caesars and asked to speak to a manager. According to Dunn, the manager on-duty said that because the store was so busy at the time, the Hot-N-Ready pizzas were being taken directly out of the oven and handed to customers, instead of being cooled in between. That meant that instead of being a reasonably safe 165 degrees, Dunn’s pie was somewhere between 400 and 500 degrees.
“Why would they put a 400-degree item in a box and hand it to a customer without warning?" she asked 11Alive. "That's not what they normally do. The pizza is supposed to cool before it’s ever distributed. Even when you make pizza at home they tell you to allow it to cool for 5 minutes. And the box hid the heat!”
Dunn is upset that Jordyn’s injuries could’ve been prevented with a warning—or if Little Caesars had waited a couple of minutes to hand her a pizza. She also said that she was told that the chain’s management would “probably not respond” to her complaint, and that nothing would happen because of it. (The family is considering legal action against Little Caesars. MUNCHIES has reached out to Little Caesars for comment but has not yet received a response.)
“As a mom, I never would have passed it back [to my children] had I known that a 400-degree burning pizza was in it," Dunn said. "A $5 box of pizza should NEVER end with a trip to the ER.”
Making lives more convenient? Not this time.