By Cam Lucadou-Wells
A four-year-old girl has fallen ill after being served with raw chicken nuggets from a McDonald’s outlet in Berwick.
The girl’s mother Sarah Dougherty said she’d bought the nuggets as part of a Happy Meal treat from the store on Clyde and Homestead roads on the evening of 8 September.
Her daughter ate several of the nuggets before saying the nuggets were “funny” and “a bit soft”.
On inspection, the meat within the warm nuggets was bright pink and raw. The girl suffered “the runs” for at least the next four days.
Ms Dougherty described the store’s response – in which she was initially offered a free cheeseburger – as a “disgrace”.
She said her child could have suffered much worse illness. A McDonald’s staff member assured her their chicken products were “treated” for salmonella.
“I was told mistakes happen with 16-year-old kids operating the fryer,” Ms Dougherty said.
“They said I was the second customer to report raw nuggets that night.”
After lodging a written “tick-a-box” report at the restaurant, she didn’t receive a promised call from the store manager. So she called the outlet again.
A staff member offered her free Big Mac vouchers – at another McDonald’s outlet, if she’d prefer.
“(They said) if you haven’t worked at a McDonald’s, you don’t understand how chaotic it could be and that mistakes happen.”
Ms Dougherty has since reported the incident to health authorities.
“They say they’re taking it seriously, but what are they doing to ensure this doesn’t happen again.
“I don’t plan on eating there ever again,” Ms Dougherty said.
“I just wanted to let people know to check their food before letting a child eat it.”
She is still awaiting a pledged follow-up call from McDonald’s head office.
A McDonald’s spokeswoman said: “We are obviously disappointed that this has happened.
“Incidents such as these are rare.
“We have reinforced cooking procedures with this restaurant and we will continue our discussions directly with the customer.”