Mum nearly dies of allergic shock after munching mouldy McDonald’s burger

A MUM has told how she went into anaphylactic shock and could have died after biting into a mouldy McDonald’s burger bun.

Shanie Granfield, 23, who is allergic to penicillin, was left gasping for air with a swollen face after biting into a South African stack burger.

The bar manager had no epi-pen with her and panicked she would drop dead in front of her four children after chewing the rotten bread bun.

She downed six antihistamine in the hope of unblocking her throat and an ambulance was rushed to the scene.

Paramedics hooked Shanie up to monitors fearing the extreme allergic reaction could stop her heart.

The medics eventually gave the mum the all-clear but warned it would take her weeks to regain full strength after the harrowing near miss.

Shanie said: “I didn’t notice anything when I first bit into the burger – but then I realised I was going into shock and started to panic.

“I looked down and saw the mould on the burger bun, which is a weak form of penicillin. I knew I was allergic and a bad enough reaction could kill me.

“All I could think about was my children who were terrified at seeing what was happening to their mum.

“My lips started swelling, my face was burning and itching and I started struggling to breathe. I knew if I didn’t do something that could be it.

“I called my partner and he ran to the garage for a packet of Piriton. I was so worried I just took them all.

“With anaphylaxis I knew my whole body could shut down within five minutes.

"I called the NHS line and they sent an ambulance straight away.

Mum-of-four Shanie said: “It was there by 6pm and they strapped me to an ECG heart machine and checked my blood pressure and blood sugar.

"It was awful for the children to see. They were in pieces. That's not what you call a 'happy meal'.”

Shanie called McDonald’s the following day and a week later received an apology with £50 of shop vouchers.

But the disgusted say they want a personal apology and assurances that they will bolster their processes to make sure it doesn’t happen again in any of their branches.

A McDonald’s spokeswoman said: “We are very sorry to hear about Ms Granfield’s experience.

“Food quality and safety are of the utmost importance to us and we place great emphasis on quality control, following rigorous standards in order to avoid any imperfections.

“It seems that on this occasion we didn't meet those standards.

“As soon as this matter was brought to our attention, the restaurant team launched an internal investigation and found no other products were affected.

“As a precaution, all other burger buns with the same expiry date were removed from the kitchen.

“The restaurant team apologised to Ms Granfield and offered shopping vouchers as a gesture of goodwill.

“We hope to welcome her back into the restaurant soon.”


PENICILLIN is an antibiotic secreted by a common mould called penicillium. It was discovered by Scottish scientist Alexander Fleming in 1928.

The NHS estimates one person in 15 is allergic to it, with anaphylaxis the most extreme reaction.'s%20burger” target=”_blank” title=”Click to share on Twitter

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