How A Ridiculously Hot Pickle Led To A McDonald's Lawsuit

What's the most scalding food you've ever eaten? A freshly crafted French fry must come close, but you should never cook food to the point it leaves burns. According to Landmark Diner NYC, the minimum temperature for hot food should be 140 degrees Fahrenheit, but much more than that can result in piping hot food that can burn the tongue. And when people are eating certain foods, like, say the pickle, they expect it to be a certain temperature that is easy on the mouth. Especially since the pickle isn't spicy and pretty neutral in taste. According to the experts at Taste of Home, a good quality pickle should have a vibrant color and a hearty crunch. The flavor is the most significant aspect of a pickle, meaning a worthy one must pack a taste of cucumber, vinegar, dill, and various other spices used for pickling, such as mustard, ginger, and cinnamon.

Since people expect a certain flavor, texture, and temperature when eating a pickle, that might explain the, er, pickle McDonald's found itself in when presented with an angry customer at a restaurant in Knoxville, Tennessee. Deseret News reports that the customer was outraged after receiving a burger filled with a viciously hot pickle.

McDonald's was sued for thousands of dollars

Although eating an unexpectedly hot piece of food is seen as a risk of buying a freshly prepared meal by most people, McDonald's customer Veronica Martin thought otherwise after being scarred by a hot pickle while munching a hamburger. According to Deseret News, Martin claimed she received a burn that left her physically and psychologically scarred after the pickle slipped out of the burger.

McDonald's managed to settle the case — which saw Martin sue the fast-food giant for $110,000 — without admitting liability or paying Martin a single cent, Deseret News confirms. A further failed venture came from Martin's husband, who demanded $15,000 from McDonald's for being "deprived of the services and consortium of his wife" (via Los Angeles Times).

Even though the perils of pickles are greater than anyone realized, a survey by Cision revealed that 86% of Americans enjoy eating them, and they're not fussy about how. While piling pickles onto a sandwich is preferable, plucking them one after another out of a jar is considered almost as good. It seems like only a matter of time before another violent pickle strikes.