Petition Closed

McDonald's admitted that there was a "store-related compound in a milk shake” that was ingested by our 5 year old son but refuse to disclose what it is. We want them to release the report's findings.

This petition had 28,432 supporters


We want to know what our child ingested and what if any mid to long term medical complications may occur so that we can get whatever treatment is needed.  Our son since ingesting the shake has experienced a decrease in appetite and a change in his taste.

McDonald's has been evasive, and despite saying they would give us access to the test results to review at a neutral facility, when we insisted that a chemist or related expert be present they withdrew their offer to disclose the results.

They have from the beginning been pushing for us to negotiate a financial settlement that has gone from $1,000 to $3,000 to $50,000 with, mind you, no guarantee that they will release the report to us.

Given the circumstances surrounding this situation - which we believe was intentional in nature as opposed to being an accident or a result of a breakdown in process, McDonald's will not do what we believe is the right thing to do.  We want to know what was in our son's shake!

For those reading this petition and wanting a more detailed overview, please read the following:

On Monday, July 22nd, 2013 my partner Jennifer and I took the kids to the McDonald’s drive through in Buckingham, Quebec.

When I attempted to place my order there was a great deal of laughter and talk going on with the McDonald’s staff making it difficult to place my order.  In fact I had to repeat my order three times. Jennifer, who although being English can speak French, heard them make fun of my ordering in English and speaking in French said to them, we can hear what you are saying.  The McDonald’s staff went silent.

I then ordered 1 large milkshake, 2 small milkshakes, 2 ice creams and an order of fries.

We drove up to the first window to pay, and then after waiting approximately 5 to 8 minutes proceeded to collect our order from the second window.

Upon opening the bag, we discovered that the fries were old and cold and asked for a replacement - which we received.  The ice cream was also somewhat melted.

Before we had left the restaurant's parking lot our 5 year old son after drinking his shake said that it tasted funny.  While the other two shakes tasted fine, when I took a sip of his shake it tasted what I described as being Pine Sol.  Almost immediately, my tongue started to burn.

Jennifer also took a sip and experienced the same bad taste, making the comment that she thought it was some form of cleaner.

I immediately went into the restaurant and confronted the manager insisting that I wanted to know what was in the shake and asking her several times to taste it.  I was to say the least very upset as I wanted to know what we ingested.

The manager refused to taste it and said do you want another shake.  I said NO, I just wanted to know what was in the shake that I gave to our 5 year old son.

I then asked her for the name and number of the owner and she indicated that she was the owner.  I then asked for the name and number for a contact at the McDonald’s Head Office and she refused to give it to me saying that everyone at the Gatineau office was on holiday.

I suggested that she call her head office to let them know what had happened and said that she better take a sample of the shake to have it tested because I was going to.  I then provided her with a small sample from the top of the shake.

I then returned to the car.

Jennifer took the shake and went back to talk with the manager.

During her discussion with the manager, Jennifer asked to sample another shake from the machine as well as the shake syrup – which tasted fine.

She then noticed a bottle of what appeared to be a blue colored cleaner near the machine and inquired about that.  The manager did not have an immediate answer.  

Jennifer again asked that she taste the shake from the top and again she refused saying it is policy that we don’t taste food that is returned.  On a side note, Jennifer was later informed by a representative from McDonald’s that there is no such policy.

Once again, and in an effort to find out what our child as well as what Jennifer and I had ingested, Jennifer asked to see how the shake was made and tested additional samples which were fine.

Jennifer asked for the contact information for the head office and was again informed that they are all on holidays as there is only one representative that overseas McDonald’s operations in Gatineau.

Jennifer then asked for the head office number in Montreal.  The manager refused instead offering her number and asking us to call her after waiting 4 hours to let her know how our son was doing.  Jennifer indicated that she would be looking up the number for the Montreal office herself.

Upon returning to the car we immediately went to the Emergency Room at the General Hospital in Buckingham.  Jennifer went to Emergency while I waited in the vehicle with the kids.

When she returned, she indicated that the nurse suggested that we call poison control – which we did a few minutes later when we returned home.  Jennifer also indicated that she asked the nurse if they could test the shake and the nurse did not know if this was something that they could do.

Jennifer talked with poison control who told us what to watch for over the next 24 hour period. 

Pierce who had ingested the most had a sore tummy for a day and a half, while my tongue had a burning sensation that finally subsided by 11:00 PM that evening.  Jennifer who had ingested the least amount had only a slight burning sensation that subsided an hour or two afterwards.

We looked up the number for McDonald’s Head Office in Montreal and I called.  After waiting on hold for a period of several minutes I was directed to a voice mail box and left a brief overview as to why I was calling along with my telephone number.

The next day, July 23rd, Jennifer once again contacted poison control and asked if they knew where we could have the shake tested as we wanted to know what we had ingested.

Poison control directed Jennifer to call the Province of Quebec’s Quality Food Control Department.  Which we did.  Unfortunately without knowing the exact substance that was in the shake, we were informed that it would be the equivalent of trying to find a needle in the haystack.

Had we had not yet heard back from the McDonald’s Head Office in Montreal, Jennifer placed a second call to them.  This time she received the message that the voice mail box was full.  

She then looked up the number for the McDonald’s Head Office in Toronto, and called them. 

After going through multiple menus Jennifer finally reached someone through the Toronto office.  They took Jennifer’s information as well as the details of why we were calling.  The person with whom Jennifer spoke indicated that the Manager from the McDonald’s Buckingham had filed a report.

A representative from McDonald’s by the name of Pilar called Jennifer back within 24 hours.   

After providing a detailed overview along the lines of what we have written above, Pilar indicated that they would pick-up the sample from the manager at the McDonald’s Buckingham location, and would try to view the surveillance tape regarding what happened.  She asked how Pierce was doing and Jennifer informed her that he had a sore tummy and that my tongue had been burning till late in the evening.

She also indicated that she would have a third party test the sample being the University of Guelph, as McDonald’s did not have the ability to do on-site testing.

On August 6th, Jennifer received a call from the McDonald’s representative (Pilar).  The representative indicated that the results of their testing were in and that she was not provided with the results but that we should expect a call from a third party by the name of Keith. 

Jennifer asked if Keith was a lawyer for McDonald’s, and Pilar said no.   Jennifer then asked who then would be calling us.  Pilar indicated that it would be McDonald’s insurance adjuster.  Jennifer said an insurance adjuster that must mean that they found something in the drink.  Pilar said that she cannot comment on that as she did not know.  Jennifer then said that logic would suggest that something was indeed found in the drink and that was disappointing.  The McDonald’s representative Pilar agreed that it was a disappointing situation and that McDonald’s insurance representative would be calling us either that day or the next.

We received the call from McDonald's insurance representative the next day.

From that moment on we have been frustrated by the fact that McDonald's has refused to provide us with the test results unless we reach a financial settlement with them first.

McDonald's position is best represented by the following statement by their lawyer - who took over from the insurance adjuster once we had retained a lawyer in the hope that this would facilitate their release of the report:

McDonald’s has finally admitted that there was a “small amount of store-related compound in the milk shake”. He (being McDonald's lawyer) indicated that he did not know what had been put in the shake as he says that he has not seen the report. He used the word “trace”, “minimal” to describe the amount which had been added . He maintained the position that McDonald’s would not release or allow us to read an internal document(the report). He indicated that now that an admission had been made that we should now be ready to negotiate especially as the amount was small. 

Once again, McDonald's just doesn't seem to get it.  We want to know what our young child ingested.  Please help us to get the test results.  There is no reason why a responsible corporation that professes to care about families should have withheld this information from us for close to one year.



Today: Jon is counting on you

Jon Hansen needs your help with “McDonald's Canada: McDonald's admitted that there was a "store-related compound in a milk shake” that was ingested by our 5 year old son but refuse to disclose what it is. We want them to release the report's findings.”. Join Jon and 28,431 supporters today.