Surprise! French Student Finds a Garden Snail in Her McDonald's Meal

In late March, a student from Bordeaux was enjoying a quick meal at her local McDonald's when she discovered a most unpleasant, yet highly organic, ingredient in her thick potato wedges.

According to a report published by British newspaper The Independent, the student named Melanie bit into a slimy garden slug lodged into her order of moyenne deluxe potatoes, which are an upgrade from the traditional French fries served in American McDonald's restaurants. Les deluxe potatoes are twice-fried potato wedges dipped in special seasonings. In Melanie's case, however, the special ingredient was allegedly a snail, and we are not talking about the tasty French escargot dipped in garlic butter. Another French delicacy consists of potatoes stuffed with escargot and chanterelle mushrooms; this recipe is basted with Burgundy wine and béchamel sauce garnished with fresh parsley.

The Surprising Slug

When Melanie realized that her potato wedge contained a deep fried slug, she spat out the slimy bits she had already swallowed. She later complained to the manager after feeling sick the entire afternoon. Apparently, the French student kept the slug and showed it to the managers, who promptly apologized, refunded Melanie's money and offered her a free meal.

A spokesperson for McDonald's France explained that the matter has been investigated and that there may have been an issue with the specific potato that Melanie unfortunately encountered. Snails are known to burrow inside potatoes during the spring. Along with the pesky wire worms, snails are considered to be a headache for potato farmers.

Snails are quite fond of burrowing inside the soil where sweet potato vines are cultivated.

The Independent cited other reports of snails found in McDonald's meals in recent years, but not all of them have been confirmed. In 2015, a McDonald's customer in Marseille complained about a snail in his hamburger bun, but that was a more unlikely situations since snails rarely make it to the baking process. That incident was dismissed as a snail-shaped bakery imperfection.

In 2014, The Independent reported the complaint of a man who found a slimy and tiny snail on a piece of lettuce. This incident, which is far more likely than the aforementioned hamburger bun in Marseille, did not take place in a French McDonald's; it was actually in a Burger King franchise in the United Kingdom.

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