Man nearly dies after Maccas blunder
A PARAMEDIC with a severe lactose allergy had to be rushed to hospital when a McDonald's employee gave him hot chocolate by mistake.
George Brown, 22, ordered a black coffee because of his milk allergy, but was handed the wrong drink at the Manchester Piccadilly Gardens branch in the UK.
Mr Brown has a severe allergy to lactose - that's far more serious than an intolerance - and had deliberately keyed in his order for a black coffee at a self-serve kiosk, to minimise the risk of human error.
"I took one sip of the drink and spat it out," said Mr Brown. "My tongue started swelling immediately. I was wheezing, dizzy and short of breath."
"The risk with an allergic reaction is that they are unpredictable. You can't tell if they're going to get worse.
"A reaction like this can narrow your airways to the point where you can't breathe - respiratory arrest - and then the heart stops - cardiac arrest - which means death.
"That's the severe level it could have gone to. I could have died."
He now says he was lucky he was on duty as he was sitting with a fellow paramedic who knew exactly what to do and had the right drugs to hand.
'MOST UNFORTUNATE ERROR'
Thankfully his colleague - Richard McManus - immediately gave him nebulised medication and a antihistamine to reduce the swelling.
He also radioed for a rapid response car, which transferred Mr Brown to Manchester Royal Infirmary.
He lost consciousness shortly after arrival, but medics stabilised him and he made a good recovery.
McDonald's has now apologised for the "most unfortunate error" and said it was "simply not good enough".
The fast food chain also said staff at the branch have been given extra training on "allergen awareness".
After his brush with death, Mr Brown emailed Piccadilly Gardens McDonald's and received a reply from the branch's assistant manager who invited him back to the restaurant where he could get a replacement large black coffee and some free breakfast.
He also contacted customer services who sent him meal vouchers by way of an apology.
McDonald's said: "We absolutely recognise that this mistake was unacceptable and sincerely apologise to the customer in question.
"This was simply not good enough. We have a number of procedures in place to avoid inaccurate orders, but In this case these were clearly not followed.
"The incident was fully investigated and the restaurant team have undergone specific additional training to ensure a mistake like this is not made again."
This story first appeared in The Sun and is republished with permission.