‘It’s one of them’ – Transgender woman shocked by personal attack in Stevenage McDonald’s which could have left son in hospital

Samantha Wood believes a breach of health and safety rules at McDonald's could have left her son in

Samantha Wood believes a breach of health and safety rules at McDonald's could have left her son in hospital. - Credit: Archant

A transgender woman who claims she was mocked by youths while out with her young children says she is shocked by the incident which could have left her son in hospital.

Samantha Wood of Woolners Way, Stevenage, was having a meal at the Town Square McDonald’s with her children – aged three and five – this month when she claims she received unwanted attention.

She said: “A group was chatting rather loudly among themselves and smirking in my direction. The conversation they were clearly having was in relation to whether I was male or female.

“A man got up from the group, went to a cupboard and removed a cloth and a spray bottle containing a green-coloured liquid and walked over to our group of tables.

“He proceeded to spray a large amount on an already clean table and the fumes were overpowering. He then sat down next to us and kept staring. Shortly afterwards he returned to the group where he pronounced: ‘It’s one of them, it’s a man’.

“I know better than to rile up against vicious comments, but then my son suddenly laid down on the bench and vomited everywhere – I believe it was caused by the fumes from the disinfectant.”

Ms Wood said she complained to McDonald’s and was told the cupboard should have been locked – the chemical in question was a high strength toilet sanitiser that should not be used around food.

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Ms Wood said: “The fact a man untrained in the use of chemicals went to an unlocked cupboard within reach of customers and sprayed a chemical while having no idea of the contents is a clear breach of health and safety regulations.

“It could have led to something much worse. Fortunately my son was only sick, but if the liquid sprayed went onto his food and was ingested I fear he’d be in hospital.”

Ms Wood says McDonald’s offer of a free meal “is not respectful” and has lodged a complaint with Stevenage Borough Council’s environmental health department.

McDonald’s said: “We apologise for Ms Wood’s experience when visiting our restaurant. The safety of our customers is of utmost importance to us and as soon as this incident was brought to our attention the restaurant team launched a full investigation. Our customer services team is in touch with Ms Wood.”

Herts police said its Stevenage neighbourhood team has been working with McDonald’s since December last year after reports of anti-social behaviour.

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