A grandmother chucked her McDonald’s dinner in the bin after seeing ‘filthy’ worksurfaces and products at one of the fast food joints.
Ceri Pepper, 61, was left feeling ‘grossed out’ by the conditions at the restaurant in Crossways Parc in Caerphilly, Wales.
She watched as one staff member battled to hold a bottle of toffee sauce that was coated in a sticky liquid.
Ms Pepper shared images online but the chain mistakenly replied they ‘love to hear when our restaurants impress with their cleanliness’.
McDonald’s later said it was an ‘exceptionally busy time’ and ‘extra cleaning’ took place as soon as they were made aware of it.
The store was also slammed by Environmental Health for the conditions it was serving food in.
Ceri Pepper, 61, was left feeling ‘grossed out’ by the conditions at the restaurant in Crossways Parc in Caerphilly, Wales
She watched as one staff member battled to hold a bottle of toffee sauce that was coated in a sticky liquid
Ms Pepper’s photos showed staff working around spillages and dirt while the floor was littered with food such as nuggets, chips and lettuce
Ms Pepper’s photos showed staff working around spillages and dirt while the floor was littered with food such as nuggets, chips and lettuce.
Even after quizzing workers about the state, she claims she was told they were simply ‘too busy’ to clean.
She forked out £14 for three triple cheeseburgers, two fries and two McFlurrys, but chucked them away because she ‘didn’t want to take the risk’.
She took her complaints online but McDonald’s social media staff misinterpreted what she said as they welcomed her ‘compliments’.
Ms Pepper called Environmental Health and the council confirmed they have ‘requested remedial actions to be undertaken by the restaurant’.
Ms Pepper said: ‘It wasn’t just one or two bits on the floor that could be picked up – it was horrendous.
‘[A member of staff] was holding up the toffee sauce bottle with two fingers for my McFlurry because the bottle was encrusted in sauce and she couldn’t hold it properly because it was so sticky.
‘I looked at the rest of the area and thought ‘oh my goodness’. The general eating area was like that too.
‘All the orders were piled up. They weren’t cleaning anything. It was just piling up and piling up.
‘I should have just said can I have a refund but I just went outside and put all the food in the bin.’
Ms Pepper shared the images online but the chain mistakenly replied they ‘love to hear when our restaurants impress with their cleanliness’
Ms Pepper, who took her family to another McDonald’s, said she has not returned to the Crossways branch since.
She said: ‘They [the staff] were oblivious to it. I was watching them. I even stood there in front of them and they were even oblivious to me being there.
‘As I came out I said to a young girl ‘isn’t anyone cleaning today’ and she said ‘we’re too busy’. That was it.
‘At the moment, the emphasis is on hygiene and I didn’t want to take that risk. I don’t know what went on. Normally it’s very clean but it’d gone to pot.
‘There are other staff on at other times and they’re so pristine. I’ve seen both sides to the coin. You’d think at this time, they’d be overboard on the hygiene.
‘Whatever staff were on at that time were appalling, but the other staff are right on the ball and I’d like them to be mentioned.’
After being forced to throw her food away, Ceri called Caerphilly Environmental Health
She said: ‘I involved Environmental Health as well. I haven’t been back to that restaurant since.
‘When I saw their response on social media, I was gobsmacked. I thought ‘are they having a joke? Are they taking this seriously at all?’
‘I phoned Environmental Health and sent them the photos. The lady I spoke to said it wasn’t acceptable and they needed to be going in. She said even if they were busy it wasn’t acceptable.’
After showing her photos to McDonald’s on social media, the fast food giant replied: ‘Thanks for letting us know, we love to hear when our restaurants impress with their cleanliness. I’ll pass your compliments onto the restaurant and staff members.’
A McDonald’s spokesman later said: ‘Hygiene and cleanliness is of the utmost importance to us and we apologise to the customer for her experience.
‘This was an exceptionally busy time for the restaurant, and as soon as the issue was brought to the attention of our franchisee the restaurant operated Drive Thru only for a short period, to allow for extra cleaning to take place.’
A spokesman for Caerphilly Council confirmed they are dealing with a complaint about the premises and have requested remedial actions to be undertaken by the restaurant. A follow up visit is planned for today [Wednesday].’