If one were to pay attention to such things, they would know that drinking Coca-Cola (or any high-fructose corn syrup soda for that matter) is not good for you, even under the best of circumstances. And we’re not sure if you’ve heard, but McDonald’s doesn’t have the greatest rep when it comes to its coffee.
But when the Diet Coke is laced with an opioid, and the latte is more cleaning solution than steamed milk, things get even worse. Just ask two McDonald’s customers who got a lot more than they bargained for in their beverages.
Drive Thru Dangers
Trevor Walker ordered two McDonald’s happy meals for his kids, and two chicken sandwich meals for he and his wife, including two Diet Cokes. One of those Diet Cokes, as Walker would later find out, was laced with buprenorphine — a heroin substitute, an opioid to treat opioid addiction. Fortunately for Walker and his children, he was home, composing an email when the drugs took hold, and was able to put his 8-year-old in charge of his one-year-old and fire off two frantic texts to his wife before he finally collapsed:
“Something is vey [sic] wrong with me. I am having sensations in my arms and everything is moving slowly. I’m feeling scared. I don’t know what to do.”
“I’m so scared I’m trying to be calm. I need you.”
Walker’s wife found him on the floor, and neighbors helped get him to a hospital. Walker, is, for the most part, fine now, but still suffers from severe anxiety and post-traumatic stress following the incident, according to his lawsuit against McDonald’s. Walker claims the fast food chain is liable for breach of implied warranty, negligence, and negligent infliction of emotional distress after tracing the tainted beverage to a particular employee whose social media posts suggest he was both a drug user and no stranger to “disrespecting McDonald’s customers through the Drive-Thru window.”
The employee and his manager-brother have since quit McDonald’s, but not before destroying all the video surveillance from the day Walker was poisoned.
Caffeine and Cleaner
Sarah Douglas ordered a latte for herself, but knew something was wrong from the first sip. “It wasn’t a latte at all,” Douglas told the CBC. “I opened up the lid of the coffee and out pours this pungent smell of chemical.” Douglas immediately returned to the McDonald’s and confronted management about the drink, only to discover that two lines used to clean out the machine with an acid cleaning solution were still hooked up to the latte machine, and the milk supply line was connected to the cleaning solution.
Douglas was eight months pregnant at the time.
She contacted poison control and was checked out and cleared by her physician, thankfully. From her interactions with the staff it didn’t sound like it was the first time such a mistake had occurred, and although Douglas hasn’t filed a lawsuit like Walker (yet), she wants some positive repercussions to come from her experience. “This needs to be more than a slap on the wrist,” she said. “We need to take it more seriously when we are dealing with food handling, I mean, to put a lid on something that doesn’t look like a latte, that should be your first indication.”