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McDonalds and cross contamination on milk cartons and straws exp\'d todayallergy

53 replies [Last post]
By Mary on Mon, 05-31-99, 19:46

Today, as we do 2 times a week, we went to McDonalds Drive thru. Our order was for 2 happy meals and 2 milks. As I was waiting for our order, I noticed a soda sitting off to the side for the window crew and a McFlurry Shake. We got our order and arrived home. As I picked up the milks there were butterfinger candy pieces stuck all over one side of each of the milk cartons and and on the straws.

Discussion with manager:

I drove back to the store and spoke with the manager, she said she had seen chocolate residue in their milk refrigerator during the morning, but said she thought nothing of it. She did not think that the crew worker was eating a McFlurry at the window. She looked at the milks and could obviously see the butterfinger candies stuck to them. I also brought in a newspaper article featuring peanut allergic children, entitled "For Peanut Allergic children, One Morsel Can be Deadly, for parents vigilance never ends" The manager stated that she was not aware of the peanut allergy and they have not gotten any questions about their food; therefore, she assumes the peanut allergy is very rare. I told her that 3 million Americans are allergic to peanuts/and or tree nuts. I told her that the ads for the McFlurry show a statement noting that they contain nuts. I told her that all peanut allergic people know to stay away from the McFlurry's and have read their ingredient lists, that is why she may not have fielded such questions. I also added that it is estimated that 1 out of 250 children are allergic to peanuts.
The manager apologized and said she would review the residue and allergy problem at their next staff meeting. She took the newspaper article and said she hung it up for the staff to read. She recommend that we ask for a manager every time we ordered.

I will be writing corporate headquarters noting their accomplishments in providing ingredient lists, and warning statements on their McFlurry's but will strongly suggest some food allergy training to prevent cross contamination. I will also encourage them to join the Food Allergy Network.

McDonalds address:

I will be sending a letter to the CEO and invite others to do so as well, asking for food allergy awareness training for all managers.

Jack Greenberg, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer
McDonalds Investor Relations Service Center
Kroc Drive
Oak Brook, Illinois 60532

I will also send a letter to their Customer Service Center at the same address.

I feel strongly that this was a close call and if I would of just handed my son the milk versus holding on to it we would be in the ER right now.

[This message has been edited by Mary (edited May 31, 1999).]

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By Mark on Tue, 06-01-99, 02:39

Mary:

That's a frightening story. I'm glad that you noticed the residue before your son got hold of it. It has never happened to us there but I have always been concerned about the positioning of the two soup pots on the counter. In just about every McDonald's we have been in, the soup pots are just under the M & M's and butterfinger dispensers hanging on the wall. They grind those things while holding a cup under them and there are ALWAYS pieces all over the soup pot covers. Thank you for posting the addresses. I am going to write to express the concern that I have about the possible soup cross contamination and to express that staff should be well trained regarding food allergy preventative measures.
Mark

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By Lidia on Tue, 06-01-99, 17:51

That is really scary, and just when I thought I could relax at McDonald's! Thanks for info. I vote to get rid of the McFlurry!!

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By Joanne on Thu, 06-03-99, 02:25

In addition to the cross-contamination issues raised here, why is an employee who is on the job serving food eating and drinking while working? This is offensive and unsanitary even for customers without food allergies and is probably a health code violation. Perhaps you should also contact your state's Health Inspector. We've been quite happy with McDonald's apart from one incident last summer where our son's plain hamburger had mustard (another of the things he is allergic to besides peanuts) all over the roll. That experience made me learn to inspect all of the food carefully before he eats it. We do use the drive-thru's but sometimes I think we're safer to go inside to order so we can better see what's going on with our order and I can keep an eye on that McFlurry machine.

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By SteveW on Tue, 06-08-99, 13:17

Joanne,

Mary stated that the manager "did not think that the crew worker was eating a McFlurry at the window."

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By Mary on Fri, 06-18-99, 21:27

McDonald's update:

I sent my letter, as noted on the May 31 post. Today, I received a phone call from the Customer Relations Office - The individual stated that McDonald's has a new training program set to be launched - The peanut allergy and cross contamination education is included in their new program.

The representative also stated that they were very aware of the peanut allergy and have tried to prevent cross contamination issues with their McFlurry Set-up.

I was delighted to hear that they are addressing the food allergy issue! I neglected to ask the effective date of the new program.

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By Lindka on Thu, 08-05-99, 09:07

Sorry to hear about your experiences with McDonalds Mary and I am glad it didn't end in disaster.

Obviously there are differences in McDonalds' products the world over and posts on this thread refer to soup - which we don't have in UK also, butterfingers and McFlurry's - what are these foods so I can see if they compare to anything we have here - thanks.

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By Lou Anne Caputo on Thu, 08-05-99, 11:23

Hi Mary, Glad it didn't turn into a nightmare!

I haven't gone to McDonald's with my children since the MCFlurry thing came out. It just seem's less and less we feel comfortable with.

Burger King and Wendy's are the only two places we will go with my son. They don't serve anything with nuts or peanut oil. Yet we still ask everytime. If we do go out to dinner we stop there and pick up something for him and bring it to the rest. with us. Most rest. have been more than happy to remove the responsiblity off them.

Has anyone ever had any incidents with either Wendy's or Burger King?

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By Jim on Fri, 08-06-99, 00:07

Linda, the McFlurrys are an icecream treat with pieces of candies blended into them. Butterfingers are a candy which contains peanut ingredients. The McFlurrys are made without washing the blender; therefore even a non-peanut type candy cannot be considered safe due to cross contamination.

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By dhumphries on Fri, 08-06-99, 00:43

I heard this week that McDonalds is going to discontinue the Butterfinger MCFlurry due to the allergy risk. This came from a friend who said she read it in the newspaper. Has anyone else heard this?

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By Lindka on Mon, 08-09-99, 11:09

Hi all - Jim, thanks for the explanation, McDonalds in UK don't do any of those things - therefore we get a pretty standard, boring menu!!

Thanks again

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By DebO on Mon, 08-09-99, 20:20

Hi

Just want to mention that here in Calgary the McFlurry's are made with Oreos, Coffee Crisp and Smarties. Fortunately, Coffee Crisp and Smarties are the candies that Nestle makes in completely peanut free plants here so our only worry at McDonalds are the peanuts they put on sundaes. It's interesting that the McDonald's website doesn't have ingredients for places other than the states - I had to go to my local McDonalds to check out the McFlurry list.

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By Mark on Tue, 08-10-99, 03:13

I was told by someone that works at a McDonalds in Montreal that if you want peanuts for your sundae, they hand you the peanuts in a pre-packaged plastic bag. They told me that they don't actually put them on the sundae but the customers put on their own. I haven't checked this out personally. Anyone from Canada ever seen one of their sundaes with the nuts already on it when it is given to the customer? This method, if true, would be a great way for all restaurants everywhere to handle nuts/peanuts for treat toppings (in sealed plastic bags)
Mark

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By Kathryn on Wed, 08-11-99, 22:13

Hi Mark; yes, it is true. The Canadian branch of McDonald's is very allergy aware and their Canadian restaurants do not have products on their menu that have peanuts or nuts in them. The one exception is the sundaes which are accompanied by cellophane wrapped packages of peanuts if peanuts are specifically requested by the customer. There is a complete list of ingredients available in pamphlet form from every restaurant. I just picked up the latest one because being a careful (paranoid?) parent I always double check.

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By Sue on Sun, 09-12-99, 05:56

Hi,

McDonald's is off of our list of restaurants for us and our PA daughter as of today.

We had stopped letting her go inside McDonald's because of the Mcflurry (peanut/butterfinger) residue we found on the tables in the play area. Now we will stop going to McDonald's altogether.

Today we went through the drive thru area and ordered a hamburger and fries for her. She ate the fries at our friend's house during our visit on the way home. It was about an hour later when we drove home. On the 15 minute drive home, she ate the hamburger. She was in the back seat of the car so we did not see when the reaction started, but by the time we stopped the car at home, she had dark allergy circles under both eyes, bright red skin around both eyes (including the area above the eyebrows), the upper and lower eye lids were starting to swell, and she had lots of small blister all over in the red areas around the eyes. She, also, had a rash on one side of her neck where she had scratched her neck.

While I fed her 3 teaspoons of Benadryl, removed her clothes, and washed her down, my husband called our friend. He asked if it was possible that during our visit there was any chance that the McDonald's bag had touched any peanut product in her refrigerator. She said there was no peanut butter in her home. We were sure her home was peanut product free because she takes care of our daughter once in a while and with her being a nurse, she is very aware of the PA - both ingestion and contact.

I was close to the panic state and ready to use the Epipen, but after giving the Benadryl and washing her, the external symptoms stabilized and in a total of 15 minutes the visable symptoms started to fade. Even though the symptoms did not re-appear, about four hours later I gave her another teaspoon of Benadryl.

I called McDonald's and talked to the manager about the reaction. The manager had never heard of Peanut anaphylaxis. She said that there was no way that the peanuts from the McFlurry or sundaes could get back to the area where they cook the food.

I told her that it didn't have to be in the food. I told her that the peanut product on the hands of the person packing the order is enough to cause a reaction. I asked her how they clean up peanuts that have been spilled. She said they wipe them up with a cloth. I informed her that this cloth is spreading peanut residue and oil everytime they use it to wipe another area.

I told her that each time they make a sundae or McFlurry with peanuts and touch the wrapper or container of my child's order - they put her life in danger.

For us, life-threatening, cross-contamination dangers at McDonald's stopped today. We will not be going back to McDonald's as long as they have any form of peanut products. It is sad that we knew the potential risk was there, but we somehow must have thought "it couldn't happen to her."

We were VERY lucky and will listen to our heads instead of a little girl that wants to be like the "other kids" that get to eat at McDonald's.

This really was a lucky day for us in Sunny Arizona.

Sue

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By Marietta Carter on Sun, 09-12-99, 19:08

Sorry for your close call and thanks for letting us know. We too have naively been thinking McDonald's is safe even though we knew about the McFlurries. I think I'll write a letter to McDonald's telling them why we will no longer be their customer.

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By dhumphries on Mon, 09-13-99, 02:03

My seven year old non pa daughter begs to get Happy Meals at McDonalds, but we routinely go to Wendy's because of the cross-contamination issue. Sometimes I feel bad for my daughter, but I remind her that we have to keep her two year old brother safe no matter what measures we have to take.

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By PattyR on Mon, 09-13-99, 23:44

I just got back from McDonalds with my son who is not peanut allergic. One of my other children is severely allergic! I was very upset to see the manager making a sundae above the vanilla ice cream dispenser and shaking peanuts onto it. They were in an uncovered,tupperware container and nuts were flying everywhere. They were all over the counter, all over the floor and all over the top of the machine. I am sure the residue was also all over his hands! I didn't ask him about it at the time since he was yelling and screaming at the staff but I am certainly going to call and complain about this.

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By Sherry on Thu, 09-16-99, 21:15

At the MacDonalds in our area, the MacFlurries are made in the paper cup with a new plastic blender for each one. The plastic blender is left in the MacFlurry to be used as the spoon. Is it different everywhere else?

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By EILEEN on Fri, 09-17-99, 17:10

I have been at a McDonalds (in Chicago Airport) and watched the crew clean out the McFlurry's machine and place the dirty parts etc on the drinks machine. The crew hadn't a clue why I was having hysterics about this.
Mary, whatever happened to the promised "allergy awareness program'? MacDonalds are letting us all down.

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By evelyn on Wed, 11-17-99, 01:45

My son has eaten at McDonalds for the 6 years of his allergy. Last week we went to the drive through. All we got was french fries, he had a reaction within 10 minutes of starting to eat the fries. hives, headache and sick stomach. The fries were still hot when we got them, I don't know how they were contaminated. I guess no more MCDonalds for this family either. Wendy's here we come.

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By sahmom on Mon, 12-13-99, 18:07

Hi. I have been trying to reach someone from our corporate office now for a week. I have yet to get a return call. I went in our closet store last Tuesday to purchase a happymeal for my 5 yr old. He is collecting ToyStory2 toys. To get back on subject, nuts, Butterfinger pieces were everywhere. I asked for manager. There were pieces all over the cups in the dispensers. She said that my son wasn't in any danger, they were (coffee) cups. Well as I continued to look around, they had boxes of coke cups open sitting on the floor under the Candy machines and m&ms were all over and in that box of cups. So this past weekend I went in several McDonalds just to see how clean their McFlurry area was, and to purchase only the toy. I found the same mess plus one had the Toy Story 2Candy dispensers sitting under the m&ms. Last night one had the so called safe cloth (covered in nuts,butterfingers) laying out in plain veiw, I asked for manager, Told him that was life threatning, He told me no it wasn't that the cloth wasn't used for anything else. YEAH, RIGHT! SO ANOTHER RESTUARAUNT OFF LIMITS FOR US TOO! BECKY Thanks for the address.

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By michelle on Wed, 12-29-99, 19:57

We also went to the McDonalds in our home town last week it was awful the place was a mess. There were nuts all around the icecream and coke area. We decided that McDonalds is a no no. That place is going to hurt someone.

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By Momma Kitty on Sat, 01-22-00, 04:51

I am soooooo disappointed to hear these stories. We have been going to McD's for 4 years with my pa daughter. I even gave her the little kiddie cones during my steep FA learning curve. It was 2 years ago when I discovered peanuts from the shaker were all over the place including the top of the ice cream machine! One little pn could drop right down inside. I felt lucky nothing had happened and stopped immediately.
I agree that the treat machine and nuts pose a risk for cross-contamination. I've been very cautious when ordering her happy meals but have become increasingly disappointed in the cleanliness of the chain as a whole.
It's another shame.

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By Momma Kitty on Tue, 01-25-00, 05:45

After reading all these warnings I was on the alert tonight as we went to McDonalds for dinner. First of all there were MM's all over the floor... could easily track those bits back to the car after stepping on them. Secondly, I watched the cook take a big block of cheese singles out of a box and place it right on top of a counter that was dusted with butterfinger crumbs and adjacent to the mcflurry dispensers!!! In this restaurant the hot food line was parallel to the mcflurries. Clearly that entire block of cheese was contaminated. I cancelled my pa daughter's cheeseburger order. I asked for the owner's name and number and plan to call first thing tomorrow. Additionally, I plan to call McDonald's HQ. I found a number in a FAN booklet 630/623-3000. I'm not sure if it's accurate but will give it a try.
This peanut thing seems so out of control!

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By katiee on Tue, 01-25-00, 19:47

I guess for us the McDonalds issue is CLOSED. I refuse to eat there in spite of the fact that here in Canada they do take precautions with regard to McFlurries. We only eat at Wendy's but I have a question...I think the biggest problem with fast food places is the fact that their employees are for the most part teenagers...who are uninformed, as well as there is a tremendous turnaround in staff, what do you all think? McDonalds and all fast food places would do well to make allergy awareness a mandatory part of their training process. I am tired of asking questions and having the employees look at me like I've grown another head! Stay safe!

Katiee

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By Momma Kitty on Tue, 01-25-00, 21:00

Katiee I agree. As I told "Jo" today with customer relations at McDonald's HQ, they need to eliminate the risk because they are unale to control thier employees. Things get busy, they are short staffed, the staff is young or they don't care. The McFlurries cross-contamination issue is a problem. We don't want to stop enjoying a "happy" meal but for now it's no longer on our "happy" list!
I urge everyone to call this number
630-623-3000 ask for customer realtions or general management. Tell them how you feel, notify them about your reactios, tell them you will no longer be a customer until they make it SAFE!
We can make changes if we work together and try. I am hopeful!

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By AnMaMc on Wed, 01-26-00, 18:28

McDonald's has ALWAYS been high on my SAFE list of places for my PA 5-year old to go. Thanks to this forum, I now WILL NEVER let my guard down. The Management and Staff need to be educated from the top level down to the cashiers. I agree the employees are young and at every McDonald's I've ever been in, incredibly hurried. I will definetly start asking questions at my local McDonald's, and also start observing more of what goes on around the store. Thanks to everyone for bringing this HUGELY IMPORTANT topic to the surface!!

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By bakermom on Thu, 01-27-00, 00:04

We used to go there too...but that's not saying much, up until a few months ago we didn't even have the information we needed to get an Epi pen! But my question to you all is this: if they can't even get a simple order right, what makes us think they will make sure the food is safe for our PA family?
Just a thought...

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By Momma Kitty on Thu, 01-27-00, 05:02

My husband has also just written a letter to the McDonald's corporation asking them to address this issue, remove peanuts and peanut containing products from their restaurant. While one person's letter may go un-noticed if we all make the effort things can be changed. I urge everyone concerned with the potential risk at McDoanlds to let them know.

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By Donnamarie on Thu, 01-27-00, 16:02

Thanks for the info! I'm writing a letter today. Maybe we can work together to make a difference!

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By Momma Kitty on Thu, 01-27-00, 16:51

In addition to my phone call to the local restaurant owner, my phone call to HQ's, our letter to corporate, I am also going to email them. I just visited the McDonalds.com web site and clicked on "corporate" then "email us". I was surprised to find they even have a food sensitivity/allergens info button. (I was unable to read it becasue I needed to download the reader which took too long and I got kicked off of aol, ahhhh). I will attempt it again later but wanted to let you all know and to be able to email them also.

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By Beth on Fri, 01-28-00, 03:28

I also found the McDonald's web site today and e-mailed them my concerns. We have had the same experiences recently with the flurry machine and spilled butterfinger gunk everywhere. They will have to do without this family's business until they get their act together and educate their employees. I would love to see the McFlurry become extinct!

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By redtruck on Fri, 01-28-00, 05:36

Wow, I'm glad i read all these notes on MacDonalds' because up here in Canada, I know the restaurants are safe and only have peanuts in a closed plastic package for those who want them. I have a cousin who manages there part time, and he informed me about the fact that they only have nuts in a package (which, can also be dangerous). But at least its a much lower risk and not being used behind the counter contaminating all the foods etc. I (stupidly) would have thought that the U.S. MacDonalds would be the same...why aren't they following our lead up here...serve Nestle Smarties, kids dont care!
Anyway, hopefully the US counterparts will change if enough people inform them about this! Good Luck, and on my next visit I'll avoid McD's.

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By DavisGal on Fri, 01-28-00, 21:33

WOW! Thank you all so much for all this information. I have been taking my son to McDonald's without even thinking of allergy consequences from the desserts. I will take McDonald's off our list of places to eat and will inform my whole family also.

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By Momma Kitty on Sun, 02-06-00, 18:06

My phone call to "Joe" at McDonald's HQ was passed down to the state who in turn had the Manager of the local restaurant call me regarding the butterfinger contamination on the entire block of cheese singles.

She told me they were ordering a new dispenser to help contain the mess.... Due to lack of space they cannot move the machine. While I appreciate the matter being looked into the risk remains. McDonanlds needs to hear from every one of us. They need to replace those peanut containing treats with other treats-as mentioned above, kids really don't care.

Please take time to contact McDonalds and make sure they pass your call to their menu dept. (I posted their contact info above).

We can make a difference. We need to be heard.

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By Momma Kitty on Tue, 03-07-00, 21:54

We found a different McDonalds where the McFlurry machine was far away from the hot food line. But last night I noticed the open peanut bin was located right above the ice bin. Peanuts where splilled all around and could have very easily contaminated the entire ice bin. Her safe water could have been deadly... be careful! I went to the car got my camera, asked permission then took pictures which I will now send in with another letter to HQ.

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By sspinale on Sat, 03-18-00, 00:28

Exactly one week ago tonight my husband took my 3 kids (one a PA child) to a drive through Burger King. About 10 minutes after they were done eating she starting getting hives, she threw up and was having trouble breathing. My husband and I took her to the nearest hospital where she stayed overnight. She was given Epinephrine, steroids and benadryl.
I have not yet had a response from the quality assurance as to what may have happened. After reading all the stories about MacDonalds I am convinced it was a cross contamination of some one eating peanut containing food and then handling her food or coke cup. I at least have to say after this last exposure I am learning alot more from you guys!!

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By Lisa M on Tue, 03-28-00, 20:58

I have two comments about fast food restaurants.
About two years ago we were at a McDonalds and my then 2 year old pa son was playing on the slide. A little girl was walking around eating a sundae with nuts and I watched her like a hawk. That's a good thing because the next thing I know she has a spoonful of the stuff and had it up to my son's face trying to get him to take a bite. I just about knocked her out of the way (not really, but I sure felt like it)and said very loudly so her mother would hear, "Please don't give him any of your sundae he is allergic to milk and deathly allergic to peanuts!" She was only about two but I wanted everyone else to understand, too. This child shouldn't have been reaching into the play area with food anyway.
We go to Burger King a lot and one day I pulled up to the window after placing my order and there was the worker taking my money with a burger opened next to her that she was obviously in the middle of eating. I asked her if they let her eat while she was working and she laughed and said yes that they were shorthanded and couldn't give her a break so she could eat at her work area. She quit smiling when she saw my expression. I think it was just as hazardous for her since she was handling money other people had and then used her bare hands to eat. This Burger King is connected to a gas station and I wonder if any of these employees are eating Resees Cups during their breaks.

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By Medina1 on Wed, 05-03-00, 22:06

I live in Canada with a PA daughter and am very concerned about McDonalds restaurants and their play areas. Thinking that it was a safe place for my children to go because the peanuts are in a bag, boy was I wrong. Parents and their children open the bags of peanuts right there and peanuts are all over the floor and on the hands of children touching everything. Needless to say my daughter had a reaction, we were lucky enough that we just had to use benadryl and bath her and she was ok. I to will now contact the head office in Canada. We are beginning to feel that nowhere is safe, and until more people are aware it won't get any better.

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By L&Mojoe on Mon, 05-22-00, 16:11

Do you think you've had enough of McDonalds horror stories?

Yes? Too bad. Here's another one.

I was in the mall yesterday afternoon and decided to get my son a happy meal (there wasn't a Burger King). Now, food vendors in the mall have a very small amount of space to get things done, that I realize.
I ordered the food, and directly across from me, behind the cashier was the McFlurry blender type thing. I guess they squeeze soft serve ice cream into a cup, hold the cup under the bin and dispense the candy. Anyway, one girl was processing an M & M order and sticks it into this whipping machine contraption and candies get thrown around everywhere. At least a dozen people in line got showered with little bits of candy. Yuck.

I'll admit, I did take my son to McDonald's drive though during the winter when not too many people were ordering ice cream. Never again. I'm going to their web site right now and complain about their deplorable sanitation issues.

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By Sue on Mon, 06-05-00, 21:23

Mary,

Your post in part - < McDonald's update:
....... Today, I received a phone call from the Customer Relations Office - The individual stated that McDonald's has a new training program set to be launched - The peanut allergy and cross contamination education is included in their new program.

The representative also stated that they were very aware of the peanut allergy and have tried to prevent cross contamination issues with their McFlurry Set-up.>
------------------------------------

We have stopped going to McDonald's, but a couple of days ago I went through the drive through to find out how much the employees knew about peanut allergies and cross contamination (Arizona).

When I asked the server if she knew what anaphylactic meant, she said, "Anna what?" When I asked her if she was aware of peanut allergies causing death, she said, "No." When I asked her if they serve peanuts, she said, "No." I then asked her if they serve peanuts on Sundaes and she said, "Yes."

Does anyone know if McDonald's has started their allergies awareness training? If they have, then this is VERY scary.

Sue in Sunny Arizona

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By MeganC on Mon, 07-17-00, 17:43

I

[This message has been edited by MeganC (edited July 18, 2000).]

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By michelle on Mon, 07-24-00, 00:48

Here is one more story about McDonalds. My kids had wanted to get ice cream a few weeks ago so we stoped in McDonalds to get some cones. I informed the manager of my sons allergy and watched her make the cones. My very first bit had a peanut in it. We were so Lucky my son was looking at something and I was still holding his. The manager gave me our money back and told me she was sorry, but refussed to do the right thing (empty the icecream machine clean it and move the peanuts off the top of the machine) I have not had time to call the company office but I plan to this week. Do not trust the US McDonalds they are way to sloppy and its going to take a complete over haul to fix the problems they have!!!
This is just a FYI!!

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By rmsdreams on Sun, 08-13-00, 04:50

Sherry - we live in Cleveland, OH and they do the sme with the blender/spoon for the McFlurry's. Even still, we have stopped going to McDonalds because of the chance of cross-contamination. After coming 30 seconds (not an exaggeration) from losing our son because of an attack, its not even worth going there. We will definatly be calling McDonalds HQ and stating our opinion about the peanuts, BUT even if they do get rid of any peanuts/peanut products, whose to say the employees don't eat Reese's, Butterfingers, etc. on break, not wash their hands and the same reaction occurs. Until the dangers of the reactions to peanuts by PA people are made TOTALLY public and everyone is aware, nowhere is safe.
signed,
mom of anaphylaxis son

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By Laura J on Sun, 08-13-00, 19:30

We are not pleased with McDonalds (in Canada) either. Ours has packaged peanuts for sundaes...which kids then take into the playground area where they are encouraged to eat and then play. This McDonalds also has a candy dispensing machine with..you guessed it M&Ms! They have a young, rushed staff who obviously have no knowledge of cross-contamination issues. We were swimming this W.E. and there was a girl eating peanuts in the change rooms and touching things. I am gelling on the thought that when my child is in public, library, pool, bus, restaurant etc. he should A. Only ever eat food from home B. Do that only if he has his Epipens and has washed with soap and water first and C. Choose long pants/sleeves to wear, wash hands with soap after handling anything "public", after shaking hands, opening doors etc. and try, although it is so hard, to keep his hands away from his face. This because the public is so ignorant of the effects their careless handling of food can have on someone else. You are sharing just the incidents you have witnessed, but there are lots of contaminations you aren't there to see and educate people about. People with peanut/nut allergy need to be proactive in safeguarding themselves. We're eating in...knowing how most people don't get it!

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By dad on Wed, 08-16-00, 22:30

Scary stuff !!!
I don't think education programs will be effective at McDonalds. Their philosophy of business is to set up processes that allow them to take someone virtually off the street and make them productive employees within minutes. You can see this in the way they have their equipment organized, even with pictures to show a total novice the step-by-step methods for running the place. The turnover in McDonalds is very high, so training becomes a non-issue.
What McD's will have to do is reinvent their McFlurry. Either eliminate peanuts from the recipe or take the Canadian route with bags of peanuts. (Then we only have to worry about contamination from other customers.)

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By Momma Kitty on Thu, 08-17-00, 04:00

Does anyone know how we can start a petition by mail and send it around the country then to McDonald's CEO? I'd be happy to write it and get it going but have never done one before. Are their legal steps to take before it would be official enough to get McDonald's interest? What about McDonald's liability? Can't they be sued if a child suffers a serious life-threatening incident from their food?

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By Lisa M on Fri, 08-18-00, 03:30

You would've thought McD's would have changed the way they served their way-too hot coffee after they were sued for a ton of money a few years back by the little old lady that got burned by it. It would be nice to think because people could actually DIE from peanut exposure that they would alter their ways of serving.

[This message has been edited by Lisa M (edited August 22, 2000).]

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By rilira on Tue, 08-22-00, 02:57

I live in So. California and we were in a Mc Donalds over the weekend. Up on the menu on the dessert section there was a big sign: Allergy Alert: May contain peanuts. They say the signm refers to all desserts including the soft serve cones. To quote my six year old " oh just great!"

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By Sandra Y on Wed, 08-23-00, 02:59

We used to let our PA son have the vanilla cones at McDonald's and luckily never had a problem. But one day I saw them filling the machine and I said "Never again." The girl hoisted this gigantic, heavy plastic bag of the ice cream mixture (I'm guessing 10 gallons) onto the top of the peanut-strewn ice cream machine, and then shoved the bag across the top of the machine over to an opening to pour the mix in. That bag had to be pushing all the peanuts in front of it over to the opening and into the machine along with the mix. I was telling my husband about it one day in the car and my 4-yr-old PA trooper piped up from the back seat, "Mommy, I don't want ice cream at McDonald's any more." What a guy.

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Sandra

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