When she returned to the fast food chain the cleaning solution line was still attached to the beverage station.
As tasty as it may be for some consumers, one must admit that fast food can be questionable. While it can take a toll on diners’ health if eaten in excess, one woman made a recent discovery which was not only unhealthy but potentially toxic to her and her unborn child.
The Canadian woman who was 32 weeks pregnant as of last Sunday ordered a standard latte from a local McDonald’s. However, due to employee negligence, she was instead served a cup of cleaning solution instead. While the restaurant claimed that it took ‘immediate action,’ the mix-up is undeniably inexcusable.
The incident occurred in Lethbridge, Alberta, Canada where a soon-to-be three-time mother, Sarah Douglas frequented the McDonald’s “on University Drive West” to purchase a latte before driving “her son to a baseball tournament.”
Douglas purchased the beverage via the drive-thru window at some point in the morning.
However, she soon learned, after she had already driven onto a freeway, that the drink she was served was not a traditional latte by any means.
Douglas described her horrifying discovery, saying, “I immediately had to put my hazard lights on and pull over and spit it out and rinse my mouth out.”
The expectant mother further explained that upon removing the cup’s lid, she did not find a coffee beverage but instead an unknown liquid with a “watery-brownish color” and a “pungent smell of chemical.”
“It wasn’t a latte at all,” she said.
Naturally appalled, Douglas returned to the McDonald’s location where she expressed her horror in nearly being poisoned, not only for her own welfare but for her still-developing child.
Outrageously, the supervisor Douglas spoke with was said to have “asked if [she] wanted a new one.”
“Absolutely not, this is unacceptable,” Douglas reportedly responded, demanding to address her complaint with someone with more authority.
Apparently, the mistake had occurred after an employee attached a cleaning line to the latte machine per protocol, yet failed to switch it back, according to another worker.
By the time Douglas had returned to the establishment, the mistake had still yet to be corrected.
The concerned mother was further horrified considering that “if cleaning solutions such as the one used in the coffee maker were also used for juice, soft-serve, or pop machines, a child could ingest the chemical with more serious consequences.”
Concerning her own safety and that of her unborn child, Douglas requested to see the chemical’s label so that she could properly report to poison control what she had come into contact with.
The Franke Coffee Systems cleaning solution contained a dangerous and unappetizing cocktail of “citric acid, phosphoric acid, methyl-trimethyl-3, and 2-butoxyethanol” which carried associated warning messages about skin and eye irritation.
Douglas then contacted Alberta Health Services which “transferred [her] to poison control who told her it was an acid-based solution.”
While certainly a harmful substance, Douglas was said to have “got[ten] off lucky” considering that she noticed the error before swallowing any of it.
Still, Douglas followed up with her doctor who cleared her and her baby’s well-being from any potential ‘lingering effects.’
The AHS Environmental Public Health department, however, has since begun an investigation into the irresponsible mistake.
By Tuesday, the McDonald’s franchise owner, Dan Brown, responded to Douglas’ personal complaint, offering an apology while explaining that the incident had occurred due to “the milk supply [being] connected to the cleaning solution while the guest’s drink was made.”
Brown continued that normally “McDonald’s is renowned for its food safety protocols” and that the restaurant has since “taken immediate action to review the proper cleaning procedures.”
Understandably, Douglas sill nonetheless continued to pursue her story, believing it to be her duty as a mother.
She noted her concern for “the safety of consumers,” expressing that she hoped the story would serve as a cautionary tale for other McDonald’s managers and employees to continue upholding high standards regarding food safety and cleaning.
Before Sunday, Douglas noted that she “never had an issue with the restaurant.”
While she was surely horrified by the recent ordeal, her experience is among other atrocious health violations that have occurred in other fast food establishments.
Back in June, an Oklahoma Wendy’s was found to have been subjected to a severe mice infestation resulting in multiple animals scurrying among hamburger buns.
An employee ultimately made the discovery to which the manager on duty appeared unconcerned in failing to address it in a timely or proper manner.
Unfortunately, considering the fast-paced environment of establishments such as Wendy’s and McDonald’s, these horrifying examples serve as a reminder of what can occur when food is prepared in a hurry.
Yet, thankfully, these occurrences are admittedly rare, at least as reported by the media anyway.
Conversely, some consumers, including President Donald Trump, are said to be fond of fast food, particularly McDonald’s, given that large corporations are under constant scrutiny.
“One bad hamburger, you can destroy McDonald’s,” the president ironically said in 2016, “One bad hamburger and you take Wendy’s and all these other places and they’re out of business.”
It will remain to be seen what happens with the Alberta location regarding the recent violation, as it clearly has major damage control to address.