No, Shake Shack Did Not Intentionally Poison Police Officers

Shake Shack is investigating why officers got sick after ordering a meal from a lower Manhattan location. Photo: Jeenah Moon/Getty Images

Last night, three New York City police officers drank milkshakes from a lower Manhattan Shake Shack. It did not go well.

The officers ordered meals around 8:30 p.m., and noticed that their milkshakes “tasted strange,” police sources told the Daily News. One reportedly noticed “a clump of something” in his cup, and another thought his shake smelled like bleach. All three were taken to the hospital, where they are recovering and in stable condition.

The Police Benevolent Association of the City of New York did not waste any time concluding that this was an act of malicious anti-police violence. “A toxic substance, believed to be bleach, had been placed in their beverages,” the union said in a statement to its members, which also urged officers to “remain vigilant” while eating. “When NYC police officers cannot even take meal without coming under attack,” the union tweeted, “it is clear that environment in which we work has deteriorated to a critical level. We cannot afford to let our guard down for even a moment.”

The Detectives Endowment Association — the union for detectives — also took to twitter to spread word that the three officers had been “intentionally poisoned.”

Lucky for police officers everywhere, though, it turns out there is no evidence this is true.

“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 of Detectives Rodney Harrison tweeted early this morning. “It appears the incident was accidental, possibly the result of cleaning solution that wasn’t properly removed from the shake machine,” CBS New York reports. The police, it seems, get exactly the same food poisoning as the rest of us.

The incident, to be clear, does sound quite unpleasant. (Shake Shake is investigating.) But there have also been quite a few cases recently where police falsely claimed to be targeted by fast-food workers: there was the police officer in Indianapolis who alleged someone had taken a bite out of his McDonald’s sandwich before serving it to him (later, he remembered he’d taken the bite himself), and the Kansas officer who said a Starbucks barista put a “fucking pig” label on his cup (no, although it did happen once in Oklahoma), and the officer who claimed a Utah Subway spiked his drink with THC (this did not happen).

At the very least, the Shake Shack incident gave Twitter something to talk about this morning:

No, Shake Shack Did Not Intentionally Poison Police Officers