The New York Police Department (NYPD) early Tuesday morning said that they found "no criminality" by Shake Shack employees after three officers had been hospitalized after allegedly ingesting contaminated milkshakes from the restaurant.
The officers were treated and observed at an area hospital Monday after the incident, which occurred at approximately 8:30 p.m. They have since been released, the NYPD confirmed to The Hill.
NYPD Chief Rodney Harrison tweeted Tuesday that a “thorough investigation” found “that there was no criminality by shake shack’s employees.”
After a thorough investigation by the NYPD’s Manhattan South investigators, it has been determined that there was no criminality by shake shack’s employees.— Chief Rodney Harrison (@NYPDDetectives) June 16, 2020
The NYPD confirmed that the investigation is continuing.
The Police Benevolent Association, a police union, on Monday said they thought that the substance in the drinks was bleach.
New York City Patrolmen’s Benevolent Association President Patrick J. Lynch said in a statement late Monday that officers “assigned to a protest detail in lower Manhattan took meal at the Shake Shack location on Broadway and Fulton Street. At some point during their meal period, the MOS [Members of Service] discovered that a toxic substance, believed to be bleach, had been placed in their beverages. The contamination was not discovered until the MOS had already ingested a portion of their beverages.”
A New York City official also said that initial reports indicated that the substance was bleach, according to NBC News.
According to the NYPD, a milkshake machine at the restaurant may have been improperly cleaned, leaving residue from a cleaning agent before the milkshakes were made, CNN reported.
After the incident on Monday, the burger chain tweeted Monday that they were “horrified by the reports of police officers injured at our 200 Broadway Shack in Manhattan. We are working with the police in their investigation right now.”
“Our team is working hard to get the full picture. In the meantime, we’re relieved to hear the officers are all okay,” the chain added. They did not provide details on what may have caused the incident.
We are horrified by the reports of police officers injured at our 200 Broadway Shack in Manhattan. We are working with the police in their investigation right now.— SHAKE SHACK (@shakeshack) June 16, 2020
Our team is working hard to get the full picture. In the meantime, we’re relieved to hear the officers are all okay. https://t.co/rjJYFSYjZc— SHAKE SHACK (@shakeshack) June 16, 2020