Six-year-old finds a fingernail in her Big Mac burger

Jul 1, 2015 at 2:27 p.m. ET

As far as burger toppings go a severed human nail is not usually on the menu. Unfortunately that was not the case for 6-year old Ellyn Richie who was treated to a complimentary nail in her Big Mac burger.

"My six-year-old daughter was eating her Big Mac when she pointed to a foreign object sandwiched between the burgers," the girl's mother, Ms. Lyn Richie, told the Daily Mail.

"She doesn't like the bread so, luckily, she pulled the burger apart before she took a bite."

At first Ms. Richie thought the chalky, pseudo-transparent object that her daughter had pointed out was just a piece of onion or perhaps a false nail (which seems to be a less horrifying option in her estimation). However, upon closer inspection, the staff confirmed that it was, in fact, a bona fide human nail.

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The staff were quick to whip the burger away — which distressed little Ellyn — and refund the £16.77 for the whole family's order. Not too many tears were shed, however. Once the situation was explained to the little girl Ellyn reportedly said she felt "physically sick just thinking about it."

The feeling was mutual for her mother who said that the experience had put her off McDonald's for good.

"Because I'm a child minder, I always take the kids I care for to McDonald's for a treat," she said, "but now I just can't trust them, which is a shame, because the kids loved it."

Besides profuse apologies, McDonald's has launched an investigation into the incident. Coleraine Borough Council's Environmental Health Department has also been informed but refused to comment on the situation pending the results of the investigation.

I can't help but feel for Ellyn or echo Richie's disappointment. Finding a human part in any type of food is horrifying. However, terminating McDonald's trips is probably not the worst thing to have ever happened to a child. Plus, as disgusting as it sounds, I wonder whether a human nail is one of the most nutritious things in a Big Mac burger anyway.

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