A woman with a severe allergy to eggs was hospitalised after eating a McDonald’s chicken wrap that contained mayonnaise.
Holly Carr, 37, ordered the wrap from a branch in Crawley, West Sussex, in 2021, and suffered anaphylactic shock and ended up in hospital after staff wrongly added mayo to her food.
The mum-of-four said she specifically ordered the wrap without mayonnaise due to her allergy which she developed during adulthood and claimed the fast food giant refused to accept responsibility for the mistake.
Ms Carr, from Crawley, said it wasn’t until the firm was due to face her in court this month that it “admitted liability”, according to a legal letter, and reached a settlement.
She said: “If I hadn’t had my EpiPen on me, I wouldn’t be here right now. But I don’t get the feeling the company understand that’s how serious it could’ve been.”
The 37-year-old said she was enjoying a night in with her family on 6 May 2021 when they decided to order from McDonald’s.
When the food arrived, Ms Carr said the order appeared to be correct and her grilled chicken wrap had a “no mayonnaise” sticker placed on the front. However, this was not the case and after taking her first bite, she knew instantly that something was wrong.
Ms Carr, who works as a carer, said: “It looked like my order was right because the wrap had a ‘no mayo’ sticker on it. I didn’t think twice about checking, but after taking a bite, I immediately tasted the mayonnaise.
“I started to be violently sick and was drifting in and out of consciousness - and in that moment, I felt terrified. My fiancé called 111 and they instructed him how to use my EpiPen, which saved my life.
“They sent an ambulance and I was taken to hospital where they ran some tests and gave me lots of fluids. But, thankfully, because I wasn’t on my own, and I had a second EpiPen at home, I was swiftly discharged.”
Ms Carr said she sought legal help against McDonald’s a week after the incident and claims that for almost two years McDonald’s blamed her for not reading the label or the allergen advice. It wasn’t until last week that the fast food brand “admitted liability” for the incident, according to a legal letter, and reached a legal settlement.
Ms Carr said she is happy to have received a financial settlement, but she fears that the firm has not learnt its lesson from the incident. She said: “It makes me so angry that they denied responsibility for so long. The amount I’ve received should be more to be honest, but I’m so tired of it now. It’s been dragging on for nearly two years.
“I’ve seen a psychologist, who diagnosed me with PTSD from the incident, which can make eating hard sometimes. I hope they’ve learnt their lesson, but the way they’ve handled it doesn’t fill me with confidence.
“Hopefully after reading my story, those with allergies will take extra care the next time they order from McDonald’s.”
A spokesperson for McDonald’s said: “We would like to offer our apologies to this customer for their experience. We take order accuracy very seriously and have procedures in place to help ensure customers are served correctly.
“We are disappointed that we fell short of these high standards on this occasion and additional training has been provided to the restaurant team to ensure they understand the policies in place.”