Dangerous eats: policeman sues deli worker who sabotaged sandwich with (use imagination)

A policeman in Evesham, Pennsylvania who found body hair in his bagel sandwich last year has sued the deli where he bought it and the cook who admitted sabotaging it as payback for a previous run-in with the officer.

Jeremy Merck, 30, a six-year veteran of the department, alleged in the suit that Good Foods to Go was negligent for failing to keep its premises safe and for failing to properly examine the sandwich that Ryan J. Burke served him on Feb. 20, 2010.

Burke confessed to police on the day of the incident that he put hair from his chest and pubic area in Merck’s egg, turkey, and cheese sandwich in retaliation for a 2009 traffic arrest by the officer, according to records.

The New Jersey State Police lab found the hairs contained Burke’s DNA.

Mount Holly attorney Bruce Zamost, who represents Merck, said customers are protected by a state law that makes restaurants liable for serving contaminated food.

Mark R. Sander, an attorney for Good Foods, said Wednesday the eatery was not responsible for Burke’s action.

"Ryan Burke was a 27-year-old man who acted outside the scope of his employment," Sander said.

Burke was fired immediately after he was arrested and Merck and others in the Police Department continued to patronize Good Foods, Sander added.