Tucson mom shares 'disgusting’ drive-thru order

Woman said she found ‘slimy’ substance in her son’s soda

Tucson mom shares 'disgusting’ drive-thru horror story

TUCSON, Ariz. (KOLD News 13) - A customer was anything but happy with her son’s happy meal from one Tucson McDonald’s.

“Honestly, I gagged because it was just, disgusting," said Isabel Villicana.

Villicana said she ordered a happy meal for her son last week at the McDonald’s off River Road and La Cholla. She said her seven-year-old started spitting out his soda after taking a drink.

“I heard him choking, because he spit something out and I looked in the rear view mirror and said, ‘are you okay?’" said Villicana. “To me, it looked like mold. It was slimy, it was very disgusting.”

The mom said she turned around and went back to the fast food location to question management on how the apparent “slimy” substance made it from the soda fountain and to the customer without an employee noticing.

According to Villicana, management didn’t know what the substance was and said it had never happened before.

We reached out to McDonald’s about the reported incident. KOLD News 13 received this statement on behalf of Paul Diaz, the local McDonald’s Owner/Operator:

“The safety of our customers is of the utmost importance. As soon as we were made aware, we checked our fountain drink system. While we did not find any problems, we cleaned and sanitized the system to ensure its continued safe operation.”

Villicana said she reported the incident to the McDonald’s corporate office. While a representative apologized for the incident and offered her coupons, she didn’t feel like her concern was fully taken into consideration.

“Whether you’re a child or not, it’s still, you know, could be a health concern, a very serious health concern," said Villicana. "So yes, they should be checking if not daily, weekly, at least.”

As for checking, Villicana said she will be doing that with every future drive-thru order and suggests others take her experience as a lesson to lift the lid, too.

“Parents, just check your kids’ drinks if you do happen to go through any drive-thru. Not necessarily just this one, just check their drinks to make sure they’re OK," said Villicana.

KOLD News 13 looked up the McDonald’s location in the Food Safety Evaluation Ratings database for Pima County.

According to the county’s website, the last inspection report posted online was in May 2013. The restaurant received an “excellent” rating, which means there were no violations noted that needed to be fixed at the time of inspection.

We reached out to the health department to see why there were no other reports listed. According to the department, the location switched ownership and was no longer listed based on the store number. While KOLD News 13 still could not find reports, a supervisor with the county said the location received an ‘excellent’ rating in March of 2019.

To see the latest information on inspections at restaurants in Pima County, search for the restaurant on the health department website.

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