healthy living

Swearing Off McDonald’s For Life!


If you follow me on twitter, you may have noticed my repeated tweets about how sick I was over the past couple days from eating McDonald’s breakfast.  Here is the offender in question:


Yeah, it may look appetizing in that pic, but it’s not so appetizing after what I’ve experienced over the past couple of days.

Here’s how things shook out after I ate the overpriced breakfast sandwich ($2.50 – really?) on Monday morning:

  • Ate the sandwich but almost immediately knew something was off, as evidenced by this tweet.
  • Felt generally disgusted and off for the rest of the morning.
  • Around 12:30, was visited by the lovely nausea rollercoaster.
  • Rode that ride for about 3 hours.
  • After about 3 hours, I felt all the blood leave my face and knew it was go time.
  • Getting sick at work is probably one of the top ten worst experiences that I’ve ever had in my life.
  • High point of the day was when Lloyd was able to drive me home since I could barely function at that point.
  • Arrived home where I spent the next 3 hours in the bathroom.  NOT primping.
  • This is where it gets good: after the bathroom experience is over (thank you, Lord), something inhabits my muscles causing extreme pain from my back and shoulders to my calves and feet.  Yep, top to bottom extreme muscle pain.  WTF?  I’ve had aches with the flu before, but with this I felt liked I’d been drilled by an 18-wheeler semi about 10 times and lived to tell about it.
  • Fever of 101.5.  Oh, joy.
  • Unable to sleep due to extreme pain.  Unable to take Tylenol due to fear of spending more time in the bathroom.
  • Even though I’ve clearly – very thoroughly – emptied my insides, my stomach insists on cramping like I’ve got 10 periods going on.  Trying to sip as much water/Gatorade as physically possible to prevent dehydration which I can feel creeping on due the dull ache coming from my kidneys.
  • Everything starts to mysteriously subside around noon the day after.  What I’m left with is a weakness so bad it takes effort to just stand up and nausea that forces me to give up eating completely.
  • That brings us up to date and I’m still enjoying those last two side effects of nausea and weakness.
  • I had some soup last night and rode the nausea rollercoaster for the rest of the night.  So, yep, still not eating.


  • I’ve lost 4 pounds.


  • See above.
  • I’m out $2.50

What McDonald’s Has To Say:

I called up ‘ole McDonald’s today to inform them of this tragic incident.

The manager on duty took my name and information and repeatedly asked me if I had gone to the doctor.  I repeatedly told her “no”.  I am sure she was insinuating that her precious breakfast sandwiches were not the culprit of my sickness and instead I had some sort of summer stomach flu that goes around all too often.  Yes, the stomach flu could be an option.  But, I felt 100% fine before the damn Bacon, Egg, and Cheese biscuit.  In fact, I went for a 3 mile run that morning and was feeling fantastic after that.  Almost immediately after I ingested the bacteria-laced sandwich was when I started to feel like I was going to die.

So, back to the McDonald’s manager.  She tells me that she’s never dealt with this type of situation before (which is odd, because so many people I’ve talked to about mysituation have said they’ve experienced something similar from the restaurant) and told me to hold on while she consulted with her Mickey D’s posse.

Well, apparently, McDonald’s doesn’t have a” “Hold” button on their phone because I managed to hear a couple juicy sound bites from the posse’s infinite wisdom.

  • “Did she go to the doctor?” (again, NO!)
  • “Then, how does she know that she’s sick?” (Seriously?!!)

After the brilliant advice that the manager’s posse bestowed unto her, she returned back to me on the phone.

She told me that she’d have to send my information to the corporate office and that they’d call me back soon with some more questions (I’m assuming along the lines of “have you been to the doctor?”).

Lessons Learned:

  • Never visit McDonald’s ever, ever, EVER again.  Or any fast food establishment for that matter.  (Chipotle does not count.)
  • Since I’ve just cut my 1-2X per year visit to McDonald’s down to 0X per year, I just saved myself $5.  Which over the course of my lifetime might add up to about $350.  And if I invest that little nugget into high-yield savings accounts, well, then who knows what the future could hold for me!


  • I do enjoy some chicken nuggets from McD’s every once in a while. But I’ve never been able to handle their breakfast. I’ve tried to eat a sausage biscuit from there three times (in 23 years), and my stomach just cannot take it. I’ve never experienced anything quite like THAT from McD’s; however, I did experience almost the same thing from a bad pizza at Pizza Hut. (They’ve overpriced anyway.) It lasted two days with severe cramping, and I finally went to the ER. You may consider calling your doctor to see if they can call in a prescription for you. (I’ve done this before without actually having to go to the doctor’s office. Saves on copay.)

    I’m sorry you’re going through this. 🙁 I know how absolutely miserable it is. On the plus side, at least this isn’t happening before your CPA exam. Feel better soon!

  • I haven’t eaten at McDonald since we stopped there before driving down to San Diego once. About 15-20 minutes into the drive, I pulled out my burger, only to find that there was no burger on it! Just a slice of cheese, a smear of ketchup & mustard, and one sad little pickle.

  • oh my gosh, how awful. i am sorry you got so sick. i don’t eat there anyway (i’m one of those 2/3) but to be asked how you know you’re sick is crazy stuff. i once had my bank card scammed at a tesco store here in the uk. it came up on my statement within a minute between each transaction (they can only go to 50 before the bank has to approve it, or something like that, so they emptied the account in 50’s). when i called to speak to the manager i was asked how i knew someone in his store was involved. i suggested that if anyone asked a sane person to swipe and swipe 20 times over for 50 cashback each time, they may start asking questions. manager was rude to me and it’s taken me 7 years to go back (& only then if pushed).
    i hope you feel better soon!

  • I don’t think I can say I’ll swear it off for life–hubby wouldn’t allow it. But EVERY TIME I go eat fast food now that I rarely eat it I feel awful. It’s weird how it doesn’t even taste good most of the time 🙁

  • Not the best post to de-lurk to say ‘Hi’ and ‘I love your blog’! I’m so sorry to hear that you had such a bad experience with Mickey D’s, and I can commiserate with the notion that getting sick at work is the worse! I hope you feel better soon.

  • I HATE McDs breakfasts. (Okay, apart from their hotcakes, which are pretty darn good.) I just think their muffins, etc are foul….I hate the bacon, the egg, the bread. Not surprised they made you sick!

  • I found this post from Fabulously Broke’s Shared Items with Google reader.

    The “stomach flu” is usually always food poisoning. I hate that people act as though you aren’t really sick if you didn’t see a doctor. What can they do (if you know what you have) besides recommend rest and hydration unless you need hospitalization?

  • Ugh something similar (though not nearly as severe) happened to me once after eating there! I had a cheeseburger one night and I felt like crap the entire next day (no appetite, weak, etc). In Europe, fast food is good! Why do we get the crappy stuff here in the states?

  • Try putting salt on your tounge. It will prevent you from vomiting. If you haven’t stopped yet that is. I got sick from an Egg McMuffin a few years ago. I have only been to a McDonalds maybe once within the last 4 years. That was only out of necessity.

  • I’m sorry you were sick, but really, what is McDonald’s supposed to do? You didn’t even see a doctor. Besides, most food poisoning cases take atleast 12 hours to develop, it’s not at immediate reaction like what you describe.

    • I was hoping McDonald’s would offer me a refund and I was also trying to prevent others from getting sick. All food poisoning is different and MOST stomach sicknesses are caused by food. I’m not sure were you are getting the 12 hour fact from – I’ve had food poisoning before and it’s always come on within 1 to 4 hours.

  • i’m sorry you got sick, but now i know about your awesome blog, and i will be back to read it again!

    hope you are feeling better, and i will give the mcdonalds on my street the stink eye for you.


  • Food poisoning doesn’t work that way. The most common cause of food poisoning is Norovirus and it (and it’s food poisoning kin) don’t cause immediate symptoms. The symptoms you described sound an awful lot like gall stones blocking the release of bile from your gall bladder but let’s pretend it was food poisoning. If that’s the case then it wasn’t the McDonald’s food that caused it. It was something you ate the previous day. Of course when you ate the McDonald’s meal you triggered peristalsis and god the digestive motor running and THAT’s why your symptoms chose that moment to manifest. Even the weakest effort at research refutes your claim.

  • I suggest since you have had food poisoning before and “t’s always come on within 1 to 4 hours.”, that you need to start seeing a doctor and learn about food borne illness. You are throwing around an accusation and quite honestly lies about the number of people who have gotten sick front he restaurant.
    Having worked in the food safety business it is irresponsible for you to make claims without a shred of evidence. Your symptoms were more than likely caused by what you ate the night before. There is a typical incubation period and you would NEVER almost immediately know something was not right. McDonald’s has one of the most rigid and tight specs on their food products. Please enlighten us as to what ingredient You think caused the disease? Maybe it was what you had for dinner the night before?

  • Not buying this at all. Food poisoning takes time to develop and for the symptoms to show (Just ask a doctor), and rarely does manifest itself so soon. Most likely, the sickness was from something that the author had the night before, if in fact it was food poisoning.

    Furthermore, what is McDonald’s supposed to do? Are they to refund every person who claims to have come down with a case of food poisoning without any sort of proof or medical documentation? Come on, now.

  • I was enjoying my cup of joe this morning and came across the Consumerist story.

    What you’re describing does not match up. Food poisoning takes a lot longer than you described, so I’m starting to think that this is a coincidence.

    Sure, people do get food poisoning from many food joints.

    Why didn’t you see a Doctor? From looking at your blog, I see that you’re trying to be “cheap”, but you should never be “cheap” with your health. You should have had a professional look at it, as you’re not one.

    I honestly think you owe McDonald’s an apology and you should look further into your research the next time you post false claims.

    • I came over from consumerist, too, to write exactly what this doctor already did.

      Bacterial infections work by entering the gut and multiplying, but it could be hours or days before they get to a population sufficient enough to make you ill. The manager wanted to know if you’d been to a doctor because a doctor would’ve told you this, and could’ve cultured your infection to determine the culprit.

      It’s important to remember that correlation does not always equal causation. I really hate having to defend McDonald’s. Sorry you were sick, though.

  • You do realize it’s stomach flu season right? It could be you caught that and it took until to you ate your sandwich to come alive.

    As for McDonalds… can you prove they did something wrong? Was there hair or a foreign object? Unless you can prove it was their fault, they’re not going to bend over backwards for you… and saying you will never go to a McDonalds again is a sure fire way for them to not give a flying one…

  • As a doctor, I’m heavily doubting the veracity of this self-diagnosis and, for that matter, “…of whom, one is in medicine” could be taken to mean ‘Nurse’s Aide.’ Without knowing this person’s position in “medicine”, it’s quite difficult to convey to reader that this person has in any sense any authority.

    It should be noted exactly why corporations such as McDonalds require some sort of doctor’s verification: Anyone could claim food poisoning sans medical evaluation and demand a “refund” and/or exact unfair vengeance on a particular location or person(s). I’m guessing you’d be surprised how many people do this given that you didn’t realize this yourself before posting this entry.

    To the point, however: If you’re too cheap to get proper medical attention for what could easily turn into a severe and potentially fatal case of food poisoning and instead rely on an unprofessional self-diagnosis–through the Internet, of all places–you should probably reconsider your financial priorities in the context of your health.

  • Carrie, food poisoning itself is not that common and does not usually occur within 1-4 hours. You should seek medical attention the next time you *think* you have food poisoning, you seem to have another stomach problem.

    Why would McDonald’s just give you a refund anyway? That would just admit guilt on their part and people are always trying to sue McDonald’s. I don’t blame them for being weary of your story.