Saturday, June 5, 2010

Now at McDonalds - McFlurrys with Reese's Cups

My last 2 posts were about healthy living so now it's time to touch on a serious peanut issue or at least a very hot topic right now on the online allergy forums.  In it's 100 Days of Summer promotion, McDonald's has introduced a McFlurry with Reese's Peanut Butter Cup topping.  And, if the promotion goes well, restaurants can choose to make it a permanent menu item.

We don't eat at McDonald's often, but on occasion, as a treat, we'll let the kids get a Happy Meal or Hot Fudge Sundaes.  And, when traveling, it's often the only place to eat.  Obviously, the Sundaes are definitely out, but what about the cheeseburgers and french fries?

I stopped by my local McDonald's to check it out.  From a few of the horror stories I read online about people seeing Reese's Cup topping spilling out over the counter into other areas, including the floor, I wasn't sure what to expect.  The Reese's Cup topping was in a covered plastic container in the ice cream stand which is a free standing unit over by itself no where near the burger station or fries. Isn't that no different than when my daughter eats at one end of the cafeteria table and another child with a peanut butter sandwich sits at the other?

It was only 10:00 in the morning so it was probably the wrong time to visit.  Maybe I should stop by at the end of the day and see what the topping container looks like then.  Or, see what would happen if I ordered a McFlurry along with some fries, burger and a drink.  Would the cashier scoop the topping on the dessert getting residue on her hand, then go grab my fries and burger, take my money, pull out a drinking cup, press the button on the drink machine, handle the food tray and give me change?  So, now I'm seeing lots and lots of opportunities for cross-contamination.

Bottom line, if I won't serve my daughter food that has been processed in a plant or manufactured on the same equipment, then why would I risk eating at an establishment that presents the same or even greater risk.  At least a food manufacturer has strict standards.  Who's working with the hourly employees at McDonald's to explain the risks and teach them safe handling?

What's McDonald's saying?  Again, according to the message boards, McDonald's is sending the same form letter to everyone regardless of the type of inquiry.  Here's a contains one of the top 8 allergens....the safety and well-being of our customers is a priority...the decision to purchase a McFlurry is left to the consumers discretion....we look forward to serving you again under the Golden Arches.  Priceless!  So, if I had any doubts about my decision to not eat at McDonald's, at least during the promotion, they've been confirmed.

Just something else disappointing to have to tell my daughter.