Pregnant woman served latte with cleaning solution instead of milk at McDonald's
Sarah Douglas's latte contained a cleaning solution that carried the warning: 'Causes serious eye irritation. May cause an allergic skin reaction'
Sarah Douglas, who is 32 weeks pregnant with her third child, was served a cleaning solution in her latte instead of milk. The incident took place on Sunday at a McDonald's in Canada. Sarah had ordered the McCafe beverage through the drive-thru while on the way to her son's baseball tournament. After taking a sip of her latte, Sarah realized there was something off about the taste. She then decided to open the lid of the coffee and, to her surprise, the coffee reeked of chemical and she could notice the drink looked nothing like it should. She immediately threw the drink and rinsed her mouth.
"I opened up the lid of the coffee and out pours this pungent smell of chemical," she said. "It wasn't a latte at all," Sarah told Lethbridge News Now. "I immediately had to put my hazard lights on and pull over and spit it out and rinse my mouth out." Sarah realized that the liquid was very watery and brownish in color. "She added that she was surprised that none of the employees knew something was off about the drink but instead chose to put a lid on it and serve it to the customer. "
Since the incident came to light, franchise owner Dan Brown has apologized for the incident in a statement that was issued by a spokesperson. "McDonald's is renowned for its food safety protocols and I am sorry that this happened in my restaurant here in Lethbridge," read the statement.
Dan further explained how Sarah could have ended with that drink. "What happened is that the machine was being cleaned as it is every morning," he said. Unfortunately, the milk supply line was connected to the cleaning solution while this guest's drink was made." This was the same reason that the employee told Sarah after she went back to the cafe and demanded to speak to the person in charge. "I showed him the coffee and he had asked if I wanted a new one, and I said, "Absolutely not, this is unacceptable," she said.
Apart from getting the number of the manager, Sarah asked to see the bottle that was connected to the machine where the milk line should have been connected. The packet of the solution showed that it consisted of citric acid, phosphoric acid, methyl-trimethyl-3, and 2-butoxyethanol. The warning label on the solution reads, in part: 'Causes serious eye irritation. May cause an allergic skin reaction. Keep out of reach of children. Wear protective gloves/eye protection.'
As of Monday, Sarah felt alright. She hopes that with her experiences other franchises can make sure that proper training is given to their staff. "As a mother, I want to make sure I have a voice and that I'm being heard in terms of the safety of consumers," she said.
Meanwhile, Dan stated that a health department official had come to the restaurant but there was no other investigation done. "We have taken immediate action to review the proper cleaning procedures with the team and have put additional signage up as an added reminder," he noted in his statement.