A woman who is 32 weeks pregnant with her third child ordered a latte from a Canadian McDonald’s but was instead served cleaning fluid in a cup.
Sarah Douglas said she stopped by a McDonald’s drive-thru in Lethbridge, Alberta, while driving her son to a baseball tournament on Sunday, CBC News reported. She said she ordered a latte and continued on her way — until taking a sip.
“I immediately had to put my hazard lights on and pull over and spit it out and rinse my mouth out,” Douglas told CBC News.
The mother said she then took off the lid and was hit by the “pungent smell of chemical.”
She turned around and drove back to the McDonald’s where she received the latte to speak to a supervisor.
“I showed him the coffee and he had asked if I wanted a new one, and I said, ‘Absolutely not, this is unacceptable.’ I said I need to speak to someone higher up and he said he was the only supervisor on at the time, and he gave me his manager’s phone number,” she recalled.
A worker then told Douglas cleaning lines were attached to the coffee machine, and went to fetch the bottle of cleaning solution that was hooked up to the machine at the time.
“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.
The bottle of cleaning solution, which Douglas photographed, carried warnings reading “causes serious eye irritation” and “may cause an allergic skin reaction.” And also, “Keep out of reach of children. Wear protective gloves/eye protection.”
Douglas called poison control but said she felt OK on Monday.
Dan Brown, owner of the McDonald’s restaurant, apologized for the incident.
“McDonald’s is renowned for its food safety protocols and I am sorry that this happened in my restaurant here in Lethbridge,” 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,” he explained. He said a health inspector later examined the restaurant.
Douglas said she wanted her story to get out there to inform others and push restaurants to enforce better safety measures.
“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.