Shellharbour make-up artist Savannah Kyriazopoulos.
Shellharbour make-up artist Savannah Kyriazopoulos.

Woman ‘nearly died’ after Macca’s coffee ‘blunder’

A make-up artist with a severe nut allergy says she "nearly died" after being served an iced latte containing almond milk at McDonald's.

The fast-food giant, however, has denied her allegation.

Shellharbour woman Savannah Kyriazopoulos, who goes by the name Savannah Rose, purchased the coffee at her local drive-through yesterday morning and was assured her order contained lactose-free, full-cream milk.

The 24-year-old says she always triple-checks with staff - at the ordering window, when she pays, and again when she collects her order - to inform them that she has a life-threatening allergy.

 

Ms Kyriazopoulos has a severe nut allergy.
Ms Kyriazopoulos has a severe nut allergy.

 

"I took a sip of it, it just instantly tasted different," she said.

"I had a look at my receipt but it said it was lactose-free, full-cream milk. That reassured me so I kept driving. After my third sip, my throat closed up, I was swerving on the road, there was black flashes."

Ms Kyriazopoulos says she realised she was going into anaphylactic shock.

Luckily she had her EpiPen in her handbag. After she was able to breathe again she tried to drive herself to the nearby hospital but "ended up reversing the car into a mailbox", so her aunt picked her up and drove her.

"I'm so lucky that I didn't crash into another car and hurt someone, lucky I was on a quiet street and not on a highway," she said. "It's so scary, it's just the most traumatic experience."

 

She believes she was served almond milk by McDonald’s.
She believes she was served almond milk by McDonald’s.

Ms Kyriazopoulos, who is "speaking to multiple lawyers", says she has emailed McDonald's but has had no response.

She wants an apology and for McDonald's to "train all of the staff to make sure those of us with allergies" are safe.

It's not the first time this has happened. Ms Kyriazopoulos spent Christmas Eve in hospital after eating spinach-and-cheese pide that contained walnuts.

"It's happened again so quickly," she said.

 

She went into anaphylactic shock in the car on the way home.
She went into anaphylactic shock in the car on the way home.

But McDonald's has disputed her claims, with a spokeswoman telling news.com.au the company had investigated the CCTV and found no almond milk was used in her drink.

"The safety and quality of the food and drinks we serve to our customers is of the utmost priority to us," she said.

"We have thoroughly investigated this situation, including reviewing CCTV, and can confirm that the customer was provided with the small iced latte ordered."

She added, "From the CCTV footage, we've confirmed the almond milk carton was not touched or poured while the customer's order was being made. Also, there were no almond milk orders at the restaurant during the time the customer's order was being prepared and served."

WHAT IS ANAPHYLAXIS?

Anaphylaxis is the most severe form of allergic reaction and is potentially life threatening. It must be treated as a medical emergency, requiring immediate treatment and urgent medical attention.

Anaphylaxis is a generalised allergic reaction, which often involves more than one body system - for example, skin, respiratory, gastrointestinal and cardiovascular. A severe allergic reaction or anaphylaxis usually occurs within 20 minutes to two hours of exposure to the trigger and can rapidly become life threatening.

Milk, eggs, peanuts, tree nuts, sesame, fish, shellfish, wheat and soy are the most common food triggers, which cause 90 per cent of allergic reactions - however, any food can trigger anaphylaxis.

It is important to understand that in some people even very small amounts of food can cause a life-threatening reaction. Some extremely sensitive individuals can react to just the smell of particular foods being cooked, such as fish, or even kissing someone who has eaten the food they're allergic to.

Source: Allergy & Anaphylaxis Australia


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