Man says he found half-smoked joint in Popeye’s sandwich

This wasn’t the kind of roach you might expect at a fast-food joint.

Alphabet City resident Jeremy Merdinger was appalled when half a doobie fell out of his Popeye’s chicken sandwich last week. And he’s crying fowl, saying the chicken chain hasn’t even apologized for the funky-smelling sandwich invader.

“I was shocked at first,” Merdinger, 23, tells The Post of the foreign object in his food. “These are things you see on social media a couple of times a year, and for it to happen to me, I was shocked and disgusted.”

Merdinger went to the West 14th Street location on Nov. 4 and picked up a spicy and a regular chicken sandwich to enjoy back at his apartment.

The much-hyped sandwich first landed on Popeye’s menus in August, attracting “hangry” mobs desperate for the fried delicacy. The company had to take it off the menu soon after because it wasn’t able to meet demand. However, the sandwich came back in force earlier this month — bringing with it all kinds of mayhem, from a fatal stabbing to a wrecked car.

Merdinger’s experience started off relatively calm.

“I ate the spicy one first, and it was fine,” says Merdinger. But as he dug into the second one, he suddenly lost his appetite. “I was taking my last couple of bites from the second sandwich when it fell out and into my lap,” says Merdinger, adding that he could have choked on the used joint or gotten sick from ingesting it.

“It was 100 percent marijuana. I saved the evidence. It’s in a plastic bag at home.”

Disgusted, Merdinger emailed the restaurant that night, including his receipt and a picture of the roach. But they never answered him. He also sent The Post a copy of the email.

A spokesperson for Popeye’s tells The Post they are still investigating the claim.

“We have high standards for the quality of our ingredients and the preparation of our food. We take all feedback about our meals seriously and quickly take action to make sure all of our guests have a good experience.”

At first, Merdinger didn’t want to blast his grievance on social media. Merdinger’s boss at HYPR, an influencer marketing firm, enlisted help from his friend and sports business reporter Darren Rovell, who brought the issue to Popeye’s corporate big wigs.

“I didn’t want to turn this into a viral thing. I was hoping we could get this resolved quietly. It is a safety issue,” his boss, Ryan Berger, tells The Post.

They were told that Popeye’s had investigated it but had no official response or apology. That’s when he decided to take his disgust to Twitter.

Merdinger says he wouldn’t have taken his complaint public if the company had gotten back to him when he reached out.

“They were basically saying it happened outside of the restaurant, and there is nothing they can do,” says Merdinger, who is hoping to receive a refund and an apology. “They can at least admit they made a mistake. I would like for them to own up to it. I think it’s ridiculous and not professional.”

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