Next month, three Dunkin Donuts locations in northeast Florida will be hosting blood drives, and any customer who comes to one of the participating restaurants to donate blood will score a $10 Dunkin' gift card. Meanwhile, a couple 200-plus miles south say that a drive-thru worker at their local Dunkin' got a head start on the donations, allegedly leaving some of her own blood on their to-go order.
Magela and Rodrigo Esquivel told Local 10 that they stopped by a Dunkin' in Hollywood, Florida to get two doughnuts. Magela said that she noticed that the employee who handed them their order had a napkin wrapped around one of her fingers, but that really didn't register until she noticed red stains on the napkins she'd been given, too.
"I'm like, ‘What is that?’ I'm like, ‘That is not jelly,’" she told the station. "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.'"
The couple said that they checked their own hands for any cuts, before turning around and heading back to the restaurant. They went through the drive-thru a second time and confronted the Dunkin' worker, filming the exchange on one of their phones.
"My doughnut was all full of blood after I started eating it. My napkins, my bag is all full of blood," Magela said.
The worker, who appeared to be holding a bloody napkin, said that she had just noticed that she'd cut herself and was trying to clean her hands. "I would never," she starts, before Magela interrupts her, again insisting that her bag and her doughnut were both "full of blood." According to Magela, she stopped the recording because she had to get out of the vehicle to vomit.
From the photos of the bag that Magela posted on her social media channels, "full of blood" appears to be a slight exaggeration. There are a couple of fingerprint-sized spots where the white bag appears to have been discolored by a red substance, however.
The worker offered the couple another (blood-free) doughnut, which they declined. They then left the restaurant and went straight to Jackson Memorial Hospital for testing. “What if we are infected with HIV, hepatitis, anything?" Rodrigo told Local 10.
The couple will have to undergo two more sets of blood tests within the next year, before they get the all-clear for their alleged exposure to the employee's blood. (When Magela returned to Dunkin', the worker said that she "[doesn't] have nothing," as far as blood-borne illnesses go.)
The owner of the Dunkin' location offered the Esquivels a $25 gift card, which they opted not to take. After being contacted by Local 10, that offer was upped to include compensating them for their medical bills and blood tests. The couple has since hired an attorney.
“Upon learning of this incident at the Dunkin’ restaurant in Hollywood, FL, we immediately contacted the franchisee who owns and operates this location. He informed us that the crew member had experienced a paper cut,” a Dunkin spokesperson told VICE. “He reiterated the proper food safety and quality standards protocol with the crew member, including the necessity of wearing gloves, with the crew member. The franchisee also confirmed he reached out to the guest to resolve the matter and apologize for the negative experience.”
In the meantime, Magela is making PicCollages of how the blood looked on the bag the night they went to Dunkin', how it looked three days later, and how that compares to a spot of jelly on the same bag. Among the two dozen hashtags on the Instagram post were #bloodexposure, #livinganightmare, and #lordwatchoverus.
#Donateblood didn't make the cut though. Weird.
This article originally appeared on VICE US.