Erin Jordan is a busy mom with four young children, all under the age of nine. What started as a simple trip to McDonalds with her children, has turned into a national crusade for this Arizona mother.
Jordan was taking her 21-month-old to a McDonald’s “PlayPlace” when she first noticed the questionable conditions inside the play area. There was rotting food, hair, dirt and grime all over the tunnels and slide.
The dirt was so prevalent, Jordan wondered if it had ever been cleaned. “If it had been cleaned, it certainly wasn’t recently,” she told ABC15.
Jordan expressed her concerns to the manager, but when she checked back weeks later, nothing had been done about the problem. After several complaints with McDonald’s management, Jordan decided to take the initiative and test the equipment for bacteria.
She collected samples from the surface and took them to a lab for testing. The results turned up a list of 13 disease-causing bacteria, including fecal contamination and possible presence of drug-resistant MRSA.
After the disturbing results, Jordan took it upon herself to begin testing similar restaurant playgrounds in California, New Mexico and Colorado where she found similar problems as well as profane graffiti.
The concern is that the children sliding down the slide or climbing through the tunnels are reaching for their nuggets and french fries, providing the bacteria with a direct route into the children’s mouths.
Currently, no state or federal regulations exist to enforce sanitation standards in the play areas of restaurants. Companies create their own cleaning standards and public health inspectors are not required to check up on them.
Jordan is now trying to draft a bill to get that ball rolling.
You can learn more about Erin Jordan’s efforts, including results of her ongoing sample testing at other restaurants on Facebook and YouTube.