A woman in southeastern China suffered burns in her throat and stomach after drinking a cup of bubble tea from a local McDonald’s branch that contained chlorine.
The incident on April 12 took place at the fast food chain’s outlet in Fuzhou Changle International Airport, where the woman, surnamed Huang, had dinner with her husband, surnamed Tang, after welcoming a relative.
According to Asia One, the drink let out a “pungent smell of disinfectant” as soon as the lid was opened. Despite this, Huang went on to take a sip.
Soon enough, she started vomiting and complained of a burning pain in her throat and stomach. The couple reported the situation to a staff member, who sniffed the cup before throwing it away.
“I asked staff workers about the drink, but they just took it and smelled it, without giving any explanation,” Tang told the Strait Metropolis Daily, according to the South China Morning Post. “They threw the drink into the rubbish when we were not looking, but we took it back.”
Huang and Tang then rushed to a nearby hospital. There, they confirmed that the drink had contained chlorine.
As a result, Huang sustained injuries in her digestive tract. Doctors attributed her symptoms to sodium dichloroisocyanurate, a chlorine compound typically used to kill bacteria in water.
Additionally, the incident posed risks on Huang’s liver and kidneys. She was put on an intravenous therapy and dismissed the following day.
McDonald’s has since released a public apology, explaining that the incident arose from a staff error. “McDonald’s has paid great attention to the incident and is deeply sorry for the error made by a staff member of our restaurant.”
The fast food giant claimed that it had accompanied Huang in succeeding treatments. Additionally, it vowed to improve its staff training to avoid similar incidents.
The incident has since drawn mixed reactions among Weibo users.
“This is clearly a poisoning case.”
“The point is that McDonald’s is now a Chinese brand.”
“In the U.S., this kind of damage may cause at least $50 million.”
“This will be difficult to control if individual employees are screwed in the head.”
“I have personally experienced this thing myself, stupidly knowing that I have not retained evidence to defend my rights.”
Images via Weibo / Beijing News