Razor blade found in soda

This razor blade was confirmed to have been in a soda given to a girl at Wendy's in Keene on Friday, according to the city's acting health director.

A mother's discovery of a razor blade in her daughter's soda from Wendy's has prompted investigations by both the restaurant and the city of Keene.

Aubrey Simonds posted a photo on Facebook of a razor blade she said she found in her daughter's soda from the fast-food restaurant on Winchester Street in Keene Friday afternoon. 

The post, which as of 4:30 p.m. Monday had been shared 615 times and had 85 comments, includes pictures of the inside and outside of the cup filled with clear soda. At the bottom of the cup was a silver razor blade with black and brown slimy-looking material on it. Simonds posted that her daughter drank some of the soda before the razor blade was discovered, but she is OK.

Aubrey Simonds declined comment through family members, saying she didn't want to say anything further until any investigations were complete.

John L. Rogers, Keene's acting health director, confirmed the incident Monday afternoon, saying it was first reported to the Keene Police Department, which then contacted his office Monday morning. He investigated the complaint soon after.

The razor blade is believed to have been used by an employee of a cleaning company Thursday night to clean the stove hoods in the eatery's kitchen, he said.

An employee found the razor blade in the trash, and, concerned someone might get cut by it, put the blade in a cup with the intention of disposing of it, Rogers said. But the employee didn't take care of it right away, and another employee accidentally filled the cup with soda and gave it to a customer, Rogers said. 

Rogers said his office isn't taking any action against Wendy's, because the incident wasn't part of an ongoing problem at the restaurant, and it remains open. The city did encourage Wendy's to review its training procedures to handle a situation like this in the future, he said, which the restaurant agreed to. 

Jennifer Zullo, director of operations for eLanes Restaurants, which is the franchise that runs the Keene Wendy's, said Monday afternoon that upon learning about the incident Friday afternoon, the restaurant launched an internal investigation.

"An unfortunate chain of events led to a bad accident," she said, adding that this is the first time in its 40 years in Keene the restaurant has faced such a situation.

Fortunately no one was hurt, and she has reached out to the family to offer her sincerest apologies for what happened, she said.

"Nothing is more important to us than our customers and the integrity of our food at Wendy's," she said.

Since the incident, Zullo said management has reviewed the restaurant's safety policy with its employees, and she has contacted the cleaning company to let it know the type of razor blade the employee was using isn't allowed in the restaurant per its policy.

Meghan Foley can be reached at 352-1234, extension 1436, or mfoley@keenesentinel.com. Follow her on Twitter @MFoleyKS.