Mom banned from McDonald's after PlayPlace germ expose

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Photo: Thomas Hawk

A mom who publicized her findings of deadly bacteria in her area McDonald’s PlayPlace has found herself banned from several of the fast food restaurant’s locations.

Erin Carr-Jordan of Chandler, Arizona, gathered samples from the McDonald’s kid play area and claims that it was crawling with antibiotic-resistant Staphylococcus aureus, a.k.a. MRSA, a bacteria that can lead to serious illness and even death. Carr-Jordan alerted the manager of her findings, and went around the restaurant telling other diners with children about the bacteria, telling them to wash their hands or use sanitizer as soon as possible.

Now Carr-Jordan has found herself persona non grata at the 8 various McDonald’s restaurants in her area, according to the Arizona Republic News.

In a letter from Phoenix attorney James Stipe, Stipe said, “I write to inform you that you are prohibited from entering the following McDonald’s restaurants,” along with the location addresses.

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Stipe continued that if Carr-Jordan was found at any of the locations, she could be subject to arrest for criminal trespass.

Carr-Jordan told ARN that she believes the same franchisee owns all eight locations.

A spokesperson at McDonald’s headquarters in Oak Brook, Illinois, said, “We are still committed to [addressing Carr-Jordan’s concerns], but it appears that recent actions by Dr. Carr-Jordan have become disruptive to the employees and customers within our franchisee’s restaurants, which prompted the letter from his attorney… We remain committed to working with an internal team on ensuring that our PlayPlaces are clean and safe for all customers.

Carr-Jordan has been on a mission to cleanse PlayPlaces since encountering one in Tempe several months ago that she says was covered with grime, and samples she obtained and sent to a private lab revealed the presence of various pathogens.

But Carr-Jordan has run into a brick wall in trying to engage more regulation over play areas in fast food restaurants. Government officials she has approached have said they have no jurisdiction over the play areas, and because they are generally completely separated from the food preparation area, they are not subject to the same cleanliness and food-handling regulations.

A spokesman for the Maricopa County Environmental Services said that play areas only need to have an appearance of cleanliness to pass inspections, but said that the department encourages restaurant managers to routinely sanitize them.

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  • Jennifer

    Good for her! They should thank her for alerting them to a condition they apparently overlooked. Don’t kill the messenger! Just think, some kids will play in there for 15-20 minutes BEFORE going inside for their meal without washing their hands and obviously without washing their clothes. Spreading deadly germs along the way, how disgusting! She saved some kids, and their parents, siblings, classmates and neighbors with her campaign. Shame on McDonalds for banning her but I doubt she had any plans to take her kids there again anyway!

  • Bobby

    The Franchise owner only hurts himself in banning this woman. The action only validates her claims. It is also a bad publicity action. Everyone will feel gratitude and sympathy for the mom while feeling anger toward the owner. She should publicize the 8 locations she has been banned from.

    Don’t bash McDonald’s. This is the last thing they want. If they verify her results, be assured they will aggressively pursue a company wide program to maintain cleaner and more sanitary playgrounds. Instead bash the franchise owner who could’ve capitalized on this with open and public cooperation but instead did the opposite which will only raise concerns among the public.

  • Staph Aureus is an ubiquitous organism, found on nearly every humans skin. The likliehood that it is found in the Play Place area is very high. Just because they found S. Aureus doesn’t mean it is MRSA. MRSA is a antibiotic resistant superbug, Meticillin resistant staph aureus. Not staph aureus is MRSA, only the organisms that are AB reisistant. They make to claim in this article that it was confirmed MRSA, just that it is Staph aureus, and then make the jump that Staph Aureus means MRSA.

  • Apologies, the original source did say the woman found the antibiotic-resistant strain, that detail was omitted. The article has been updated.

  • Heath

    People really need to get lives. Kids get dirty and play outside. It’s part of life. I’m sure I was filthy when I was a kid. Stop sheltering your children. The reason more and more kids get sick, isn’t because of the playplaces or anything, it’s because so many parents shelter their damn kids they never get exposed to anything outside their own house. It’s sickening.

  • FABULOUS! I recently blogged about their sock policy and it’s ridiculousness since they pulled “health department code” as their reason for needing socks on feet. Police were called to kick out patrons later (not while I was there). http://www.thekerrieshow.com/2011/10/bacteria-at-mcdonalds-say-it-aint-so.html

  • Ken Mitchell

    Bacteria (staph, MRSA and non) exist everywhere and anywhere. If you have the time and money, go around and swab different places. Your house, your nose, your local hospital, library, etc etc. Do you think that when you come home all those germs you collected on the bottom of your shoes magically disappear? No, of course not. The point is simple and to the point. If you have any exposed cuts, cover them up. If you have a cut on your foot and it hasn’t healed, then a waterpark most likely isn’t the best place to be. Use common sense folks, and don’t be so afraid to do something because of germs. They are all around you no matter if you like it or not.

  • Jackie

    I recommend picking up a Bacterminator cover for your mobile devices such as the iPhone, iPad, Android, Blackberry or MacBook. The covers are antibacterial and non toxic and last up to 3 years with regular use. You can find them at http://www.Bacterminator.com

  • A

    MRSA will not necessarily be removed by washing hands or sanitizing (as alcohol does not affect MRSA). Bleach is very effective.