A beef with “local” McDonald’s

January 2, 2010 at 11:02 am Leave a comment

I have to confess that I have not eaten in a McDonald’s in more than 15 years; I avoid ground beef that is produced on far away factory farms. But I’ve always thought that the most harmless meal at Mickey D’s would have to be breakfast. After all, it’s kinda hard to mess up an egg and a muffin.

Then comes this downer in my morning paper.  According to the Triangle Troubleshooter at the News and Observer, Joseph Goldston of Chatham County has a beef with a McDonald’s in Raleigh because he found “long, white things” in one of the four Egg McMuffins he purchased on his way to work.  He says they looked like worms, or perhaps dough that just didn’t get cooked right.

Mistakes happen, but when they happen at a franchise outlet of a global corporation, it’s a lot harder to get to the bottom of things.

Mr. Goldston sent McD’s an email and got a response saying the matter would be referred to the local restaurant (4413 Capital Blvd.).  He also contacted the N & O where Troubleshooter Sarah Nagem began an investigation. She didn’t get to talk to Mr. McDonald because of course there is no such person at the top of this food chain. But she did reach Gaffney Gunter, the director of operations for the local area, who told her that the company with the golden arches does not bake its own muffins (we’re shocked); so if something got cooked into the dough it didn’t happen on his watch. 

Because McDonald’s doesn’t like to make public which food companies supply its “restaurants” (trade secret), no one can say where the questionable muffin originated. When and if Mr. Goldston ever finds out what went wrong with his breakfast, he might wish he hadn’t asked. (We do know, for example, that the ground beef at McDonald’s and other major fast-food joints is treated with ammonia — some secret sauce, eh — in a not always successful effort to keep the E.coli and salmonella at bay.)

So the local joint blamed the parent company and the parent company ain’t talking but refers complaints to the local joint.

Seems like another great reason to patronize locally owned eateries, especially ones that sell real food that was raised nearby, maybe even by someone you know. It’s probably less likely that you’ll find something weird in your breakfast, but if you do,  at least the local proprietor is likely to take responsibility and make sure it doesn’t happen again.

Read the rest of the story here in the N & O.

Entry filed under: Food Safety, Sustainable Food, Uncategorized. Tags: , , .

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