TEMPE, AZ - Erin Carr Jordan is a busy mom with four young children, all under the age of nine. So, in early April, when one of them needed to go to the bathroom, Jordan headed into the nearest McDonalds, near Priest Drive and Baseline Road in Tempe.
It would be the beginning of what has now become Jordan’s personal crusade.
Knowing her 21-month-old son might get lost or lose his balance, she headed into the child’s play area with him, what McDonald’s calls “PlayPlace". She was appalled by what she found.
“It was covered in dirt and grime,” said the Chandler mom and child psychology professor. “Layers of old hair and food and garbage, it was disgusting.” The dirt was so prevalent, Jordan wondered if it had ever been cleaned. “If it had been cleaned, it certainly wasn’t recently.”
The same day, Jordan took her concerns to a manager. She checked back weeks later, and still, she said, nothing had been done. After six different complaints with McDonald’s management in the Valley and at the corporate level, Jordan decided to test the equipment for bacteria, to find out just how dangerous it could be.
At a local laboratory, researchers were able to isolate 13 different types of bacteria, most of it originating in human or animal feces. Some of the bacteria, according to Jordan, is potentially deadly, especially to those with a compromised immune system. When her concerns fell on deaf ears, she contacted ABC 15 for help. ABC15 contacted McDonald’s, which issued a statement through the owner/operator of the restaurant, as follows:
“I am absolutely appalled by the condition of this PlayPlace. I’m disappointed we let this customer and others down. I sincerely apologize,” wrote Shane Thompson. “We have strict requirements for daily cleaning of PlayPlaces that my management staff are required to adhere to. In this case the process was not properly followed.”
Well, OK, ummmm, gross!!!
As far as we know, no one has suffered any serious injury or illness as a result of the feces-stained playground. The question is, if someone had, would this McDonald’s be liable? The very easy answer is, hell yes!!!!
According to the owner himself, McDonalds had standards for daily cleaning of this equipment. They have rules in place because they know that slippery, slobbery, snotty, poopy and catsup stained kids are all over this stuff. If proven that someone got hurt or sick, by way of the bacteria-infested PlayPlace, and, brought on by McDonald’s failure to follow it’s own internal standards, there certainly would be liability. If it were one of my kids, there would be hell to pay too.
After reading this, I am very glad that my own kids are past the PlayPlace ages. I can avoid the arguments and the mean sneers from them, would it be my decision not to otherwise let them near the germ-ridden equipment.
I am sorry, but this entire story is really sad and disgusting. I am done here.