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

Posted on: Mon, 05/31/1999 - 5:46am
anonymous's picture
Joined: 05/28/2009 - 16:42

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).]

Posted on: Mon, 05/31/1999 - 12:39pm
Mark's picture
Joined: 01/19/1999 - 09:00

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.

Posted on: Tue, 06/01/1999 - 3:51am
Lidia's picture
Joined: 04/25/1999 - 09:00

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!!

Posted on: Wed, 06/02/1999 - 12:25pm
Joanne's picture
Joined: 02/22/1999 - 09:00

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.

Posted on: Mon, 06/07/1999 - 11:17pm
SteveW's picture
Joined: 04/08/1999 - 09:00

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

Posted on: Fri, 06/18/1999 - 7:27am
anonymous's picture
Joined: 05/28/2009 - 16:42

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.

Posted on: Wed, 08/04/1999 - 7:07pm
Lindka's picture
Joined: 06/21/1999 - 09:00

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.

Posted on: Wed, 08/04/1999 - 9:23pm
Lou Anne Caputo's picture
Joined: 06/08/1999 - 09:00

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?

Posted on: Thu, 08/05/1999 - 10:07am
Jim's picture
Joined: 03/15/1999 - 09:00

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.

Posted on: Thu, 08/05/1999 - 10:43am
dhumphries's picture
Joined: 02/02/1999 - 09:00

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?

Posted on: Sun, 08/08/1999 - 9:09pm
Lindka's picture
Joined: 06/21/1999 - 09:00

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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