Quebec parents not lovin' French-only McDonald's allergy warnings
A McDonald's restaurant in East Palo Alto, Calif. Friday, April 20, 2012. (AP / Paul Sakuma)
Some McDonald’s restaurant franchises in Quebec are coming under fire for having French-only signs warning diners about allergy risks.
The fast food giant announced on Jan. 17 that it will be adding nuts that are not sealed in individual packages to some menu items in Canada, starting with the Skor McFlurry. The company warned the change could result in contact between nuts and other food.
The decision sparked widespread backlash from parents of children with nut allergies. Many took to Twitter using the hashtag #NotLovinIt.
Signs suggesting diners speak to a manager about allergy concerns were added to most counters and self-serve kiosks following the decision.
While English language signage has long been a hot-button issue in the province, some consumers say public safety should trump cultural protections. Previous complaints from customers convinced some franchisees to post bilingual signs, but others have not bothered.
“We are talking about a health issue here. I really think that people have to understand. If they don’t understand, they can get themselves in trouble,” one patron told CTV Montreal on Tuesday. “We live in a place where we should all be able to communicate and get along.”
Restaurants in Quebec are not required to post allergy warnings. Some fast food fans feel McDonald’s should add bilingual warning signs since the restaurants are so popular with non-French speaking tourists.
The company has so far not bowed to pressure to back away from its updated menu. But a spokesperson told CTV Montreal that bilingual warning signs are on the way to some locations.
“A decision was made to provide bilingual menu boards and advertising materials in the restaurants located in areas with a higher Anglophone population,” said the company in a statement.
With a report from CTV Montreal’s Rob Lurie