Last Monday, around 6 p.m., a Lower Frederick man picked up dinner for his daughter. He pulled into the East Norriton McDonald’s drive-through and ordered their meal. Wanting just to provide his daughter with warm, tasty food, he says he got more than he bargained for in a “not-too-happy meal.”
His 6-year-old daughter began to eat and sip her small Coke. Then, through the straw and into her mouth came an unexpected and definitely undesired addition to her drink, her father claimed. The cup contained an earthworm, according to the family.
“It was so gross,” said the father, who has asked that neither he nor his daughter be named in the incident for both her protection and in the event the case goes into litigation.
“[My daughter] started freaking out, and saying, ‘Oh my God! Oh my God! There is something in my mouth from my drink!’ and then she spit it out. It stuck to my shirt.”
The family rushed home and immediately called the McDonald’s, located at 6894 Germantown Pike.
While the manager who took the call seemed “receptive,” according to the father, he reportedly did not offer the immediate apology the family wanted for their daughter.
“We could hear [the location's manager on the phone] yelling at the staff in the background,” said the father.
But when the manager requested the cup, the father said no.
Thus far, the man has refused to return to the location. Instead, he has called a local attorney and the Department of Health to further investigate the matter.
The Department of Health has said it will be investigating the location in the near future.
The father alleges that he is “pretty sure someone had to place it in the cup intentionally.”
Without a resulting illness from the daughter, lawyers have said there is not likely much that can be done.
“They said there is no case unless [my daughter] gets sick from contamination,” said the Lower Frederick man.
The family has been advised not to return to the location at this time. The Department of Health has asked them to hold off until an investigation can be conducted beforehand.
Patch attempted to reach McDonald’s Corporate Offices for comment by calling and emailing U.S. Media Relations Danya Proud and Ashlee Yingling for a comment, but at the time of publication, there had not been a response.
"This is a claim and only a claim," said East Norriton McDonald's franchise owner Keoun Chong. "We caution anyone from jumping to conclusions. The health department found no evidence to substantiate this claim, and we have no reason to believe this originated in the restaurant. However, we take this matter seriously and will continue to investigate and gather all the facts.
"In my more than 10 years as a restaurant owner, I’ve never seen anything like this. My restaurant has stringent standards, and we have a history of successful inspections from the health department. We will continue to strive to provide our customers with a clean and pleasant environment every time they visit."
That doesn’t stop this local father from doing what he said he feels is “the right thing.” The Lower Frederick family wants to warn other families by sharing their story.