Fast food giant McDonald's have been forced into a grovelling apology after a customer was told to “f*** off and die” after asking staff whether a new product contains gluten.
Bernie Bowles was subjected to the abuse when she ordered one of the restaurant's new Galaxy Caramel McFlurries at a branch in Andover, Hampshire.
Having asked the staff if the ice cream contained gluten, the 63-year-old was shocked to see the branch's allergen guide with an offensive slur on it.
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It has been confirmed that the writing, done in black biro pen on a yellow leaflet, was done by a member of staff.
After being left none-the-wiser about whether the product contained gluten or not, Bernie, who is a coeliac, failed to get an ice-cream, arriving home offended and empty-handed.
The retired bank officer has branded the note “offensive” and has since questioned if McDonald's “don't want” customers with allergies and “sees them as an inconvenience”.
McDonald's apologised to Bernie for the “completely unacceptable” incident and confirmed that “appropriate action was undertaken” against the employee, but refused to state what that involved.
Mrs Bowles said: “When I came home, I could believe what was written on it. I thought that, quite honestly, it's very inappropriate and it's quite offensive.
“I thought 'maybe that's what they think about people who have got allergies.
“'We don't want you in McDonald's – go away, you're just an inconvenience'.
“When I asked if the McFlurry was gluten-free, the staff member wasn't sure so she walked off and then handed me that allergen leaflet.
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“I didn't want to buy one and risk having a reaction, so I went to hand the leaflet back.
“It adds insult to injury because I didn't know if I could eat the McFlurry and then I saw that.”
Having told McDonald's about the issue, she was promised a £15 voucher as compensation.
A spokesman for McDonald's said: “We take allergens extremely seriously at McDonald's. This incident is completely unacceptable and is in no way in keeping with our company values or what we expect from our employees.
“As soon as we were made aware of what happened, an investigation was conducted as a matter of urgency.
“The employee was identified and the appropriate action was undertaken. We'd like to apologise to the customer, who is now in contact with our customer services team, for their experience and how it was handled.”
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