An angry mum says she was stunned to be offered a happy meal at McDonald’s after her daughter found a hypodermic needle in the firm’s South Shields restaurant.
Kayley Paul said she was horrified when her daughter, seven-year-old Jordyn Carruthers picked up the needle on the floor of a fast food restaurant toilet.
After taking up the issue with staff, she was left furious after being offered a Happy Meal by way of an apology.
She said: “They offered a free happy meal for her. She could have caught anything.”
The fast food firm say they are stepping up checks at the restaurant.
The mum and daughter called in to McDonald’s in King Street, on Sunday afternoon and made the discovery in the disabled toilet on the ground floor.
I screamed at her to put it down and cleaned her hands.Kayley Paul
The 29-year-old full-time mother from Biddick Hall alerted staff to the needle, which was inside a plastic tube.
Kayley has said the incident has left her concerned and she says she will never return to the business.
She says her daughter has suffered nightmares and been unwell since and is consulting with a solicitor.
Kayley has emailed and spoken to company bosses to raise her concerns.
She says she has been contacted by the branch and offered an apology and a free Happy Meal for Jordyn, which she said is not good enough.
She said: “A woman said to us before we went in that something was on the floor, but I didn’t really catch what she said.
“We went in and she picked it up. I screamed at her to put it down and cleaned her hands. She didn’t know what it was.
“I’ve had to explain to her about needles and the people who use them. She’s innocent, now she knows all about this stuff she shouldn’t have to know about.
“She was lucky they had put the lid back on before they then just threw it on the floor.”
She added: “If I’d been able to see the door, I would have let my daughter go on her own.
“If she had, she would have been at risk. It’s absolutely disgusting.
“I think the toilets should have checked more regularly. We won’t be going to any McDonald’s now and it was somewhere my daughter loved going.
A McDonald’s spokesman said: “We apologise to Ms Paul for her experience.
“Hygiene and safety is of paramount importance and as soon as we were alerted to this, our restaurant team immediately and safely disposed of the item.
“Our toilets are checked every 15 minutes and staff have been reminded to be extra vigilant with their inspections.”