A pregnant woman in Canada had a stomach-churning experience Sunday morning when she was served a latte filled with cleaning fluid.
Sarah Douglas of Lethbridge, Alberta, was on her way to her son’s baseball tournament when she went to a McDonald’s drive-through for a latte.
It wasn’t until she was on the highway that she suspected something was wrong, she told the Canadian Broadcasting Corp.
“I immediately had to put my hazard lights on and pull over and spit it out and rinse my mouth out with … water,” Douglas said. “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 is seven months pregnant with her third child, said the liquid in her cup was a watery brownish color.
When she returned to the restaurant to complain, she said, a staff member told her that two cleaning lines were hooked up to the latte machine, according to The Globe and Mail newspaper.
The on-duty supervisor showed Douglas the bottle of cleaning fluid so she would know what to tell poison control.
“So, I took a picture of it and then another co-worker of his had also overheard what had been going on, and was a little bit upset at the situation and said that this had happened before,” she told Lethbridge News Now. “And she was a little mad that it was occurring again.”
Douglas contacted Alberta Health Services’ Health Link and was transferred to poison control.
She turned out to be OK, since she hadn’t swallowed the liquid. She visited her family doctor just to make sure there were no lingering effects, according to the CBC.
Dan Brown, who owns the McDonald’s franchise where Douglas purchased the tainted latte, released a statement on Wednesday:
Since learning about the complaint, our team has been in very close contact with the guest and apologized to her. The health inspector also visited my restaurant and is not investigating further.
McDonald’s is renowned for its food safety protocols and I am sorry that this happened in my restaurant here in Lethbridge.
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.
Although Douglas survived the ordeal unharmed, it’s still eating at her, mainly because she fears that the cleaning fluid might end up in juice, soda or soft-serve ice cream and be ingested by kids.
“As a mother, I want to make sure I have voice and that I’m being heard in terms of the safety of consumers, and how (alleged) negligence can affect people in such a drastic way,” she told Lethbridge News Now.
See more in the video below: