ADEL, Iowa — A Central Iowa woman says she was treated unfairly at a fast food restaurant because she was pregnant.
For Kassidy Small, a soon-to-be mother of two, her children are her priority especially when it comes to the health of her unborn child.
“I’m expecting and doctors recommend that you don`t eat deli meat unless it’s thoroughly heated,” she said. “Usually when I eat at Subway I ask them to microwave my meat then toast it.”
Small, who is 30 weeks pregnant, went into the Adel Subway on Saturday afternoon. There she says a male employee belittled her request and refused to help her.
“He just said he was really busy and that this is fast food, not fine dining,” Small said.
The woman said the employee would only toast the sandwich, not warm the meat in the microwave, as she previously requested. She says the man even tried to prove the meat was hot enough by pulling out a thermometer. It read 140 degrees.
According to the CDC, pregnant women must heat deli meat to 165 degrees to prevent the risk of bacteria, which could be harmful to the baby.
Small and another woman who witnessed the conversation eventually left without their food.
“I was in tears and that’s embarrassing in public,” Small said. “It’s easy for a pregnant woman to cry but I was also upset because of what just happened.”
The mother to be took to social media voicing her experience and dozens came to her defense.
Small hopes her experience will raise awareness about customer’s medical needs and the importance of customer service.
“Maybe someone will read it and now when someone makes a request they will do it more happily instead of putting down the person for whatever they are requesting,” Small said.
One of the other customers who left the restaurant with Small took her to the neighboring Casey’s gas station and ordered her a sandwich there. After hearing her story, Casey’s picked up the tab.
Channel 13 reached out the restaurant’s manager and heard back from Jan Gute Monday. She said this event has sparked a store-wide retraining effort. Gute plans to talk to the employee Monday and says she’s not yet sure if this is a fireable offense.
Gute says the store has reached out to Small and are in touch with her about the incident.