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McDonald's Served a Pregnant Woman a Coffee Cup Full of Chemicals

The woman was accidentally served a cleaning solution with phosphoric acid in it.
Mack Lamoureux
Toronto, CA
August 1, 2018, 4:09pm
Photo via McDonalds.

This article originally appeared on VICE Canada.

A pregnant woman was served cleaning solution instead of the latte she ordered in a McDonalds in Alberta, Canada.

According to the Canadian Press, Sarah Douglas swung into the Lethbridge, Alberta, McDonalds Sunday morning on her way to her kid's ball tournement. Like most of us, she needed some of the good stuff to wake up and ordered a coffee, which she took a swig of once she was on the highway.


Turns out, it wasn’t coffee.

"I immediately had to put my hazard lights on and pull over and spit it out and rinse my mouth out with water," Douglas told the CBC. "I opened up the lid of the coffee and out poured this pungent smell of chemical. It wasn't a latte at all."

The mother of two then went back to the McDonalds and spoke to the manager of the store. While there, she asked some workers to show her what she was served instead of coffee and when they did, Douglas snapped a photo. The image shows that what she swigged included citric acid, phosphoric acid, methyl-trimethyl-3, and 2-butoxyethanol. Now, I’m no chemist but, you know, that doesn’t sound great. The warnings on the bottle saying a user should wear gloves and goggles when handling, and it don’t really suggest it’s safe to drink, either.

Fortunately, Douglass was fine. According to a note issued by Dan Brown, the owner of this particular franchise, what happened was the machines that make the coffee are cleaned every morning and “the milk supply line was connected to the cleaning solution while this guest's drink was made.”

Brown told the CBC that the franchise took “immediate action” and that a health inspector has already visited the franchise. Douglas told the CBC that she was contacted by Brown and offered an apology but decided to come forward with the story because she’s worried what happened to her might happen to other McDonald’s customers.

At the end of the day though, while, yes, you shouldn’t drink cleaning solution used by fast food restaurants to clean out their lines, it still probably tasted better than a double-double.

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