A McDonald’s restaurant in Alberta, Canada is apologizing after a pregnant woman was accidentally served a cleaning agent in a cup rather than the latte she had ordered.
On the morning of Sunday, July 29, Sarah Douglas, who is 32 weeks pregnant, decided to drive through the McDonald’s drive-thru and order a latte while taking her son to his baseball game. However, after she pulled back onto the highway and took a sip of her drink, she says that she knew something was wrong.
“I immediately had to put my hazard lights on and pull over and spit it out and rinse my mouth out with...in the door of my vehicle I had some water. I opened up the lid of the coffee and out pours this pungent smell of chemical. It wasn't a latte at all,” Douglas, who said that the liquid in the cup was a watery-brownish color, told Lethbridge News Now.
After returning to the restaurant and asking to speak to a supervisor, Douglas was told that two cleaning lines had been hooked up to the latte machine when her drink was made, resulting in her being served a cleaning agent.
“The supervisor went and got the bottle that was hooked up to it and brought it over to the counter, and I took a picture of it, so I knew what I was working with - what I had consumed so I could talk to 811 and poison control,” Douglas said, adding that another employee told her that “this had happened before.”
Although poison control assured her that she would be okay and Douglas plans on visiting a family doctor for extra assurance, the cleaning agent she had taken a sip of contained citric acid, phosphoric acid, methy-trimethyl-3, and 2-butoxyethanol. The bottle also indicated that should it come into contact with the eyes or skin, the area needs to be rinsed with water for several minutes.
“McDonald’s is renowned for its food safety protocols and I am sorry that this happened in my restaurant here in Lethbridge,” franchisee owner Dan Brown said in a statement. “What happened is that the machine was being cleaned – as it is every morning. Unfortunately, the milk supply line was connected to the cleaning solution while this guest’s drink was made. We have taken immediate action to review the proper cleaning procedures with the team and have put additional signage up as an added reminder.”
A health inspector has since visited the restaurant but is not investigating further.