Management at a McDonald's store have caught one of their own employees tampering with food that was being prepared for a police officer.

Tatyana Hargrove, 21, was arrested following an incident at a McDonald's outlet at 13003 Rosedale Highway in California, Bakersfield Police Department said.

McDonald's management said they discovered an employee intentionally tampered with food served to a law enforcement officer Tuesday, according to Kern County Sheriff's Office.

A Bakersfield Police Department spokesman told the outlet that an officer from that police force was involved in the incident on November 12.

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Tampering is defined as a case where a person "willfully mingles any poison or harmful substance with any food, drink, medicine, or pharmaceutical product".

It is understood the tampering was an alleged revenge plot after Hargrove was confronted by police at gunpoint in 2017 and punched in the mouth.

She was also bitten by a police dog after she was mistaken for an offender threatening people with a machete.

Hargrove later sued the city of Bakersfield in federal court in 2017 after saying police used excessive force and civil rights violations.

However, a jury ruled in favour of the city and the police officers, Bakersfield.com reported.

Tatyana was arrested for allegedly tampering with an officers food at McDonald's in California. The officer was from the same police department that she had sued in 2017. Photo / NAACP
Tatyana was arrested for allegedly tampering with an officers food at McDonald's in California. The officer was from the same police department that she had sued in 2017. Photo / NAACP

The officer was from the same police department that she had sued after an incident involving two other cops in 2017.

In a statement the McDonald's owner, Jim Abbate, said, "I want to ensure our customers and law enforcement that the behaviour exhibited by the individual involved in this incident does not represent my values nor those of my McDonald's business.

"When we found out about this disturbing incident, we quickly notified the police.

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"We are co-operating with their investigation and want law enforcement to know they are always welcome at McDonald's."

It is not known how Hargrove tampered with the food.