McDonald’s has been forced to apologise after staff refused to serve a diabetic teenager with low sugar levels – unless he could PROVE he had the condition.
James Ellis, 15, asked for two chicken burgers from the fast food restaurant after he began to feel unwell on Wednesday (10/5).
But he was left stunned when staff said they would not serve him any food unless he could prove he was diabetic.
The teen was then forced to empty his diabetic pouch – containing injection pins and insulin syringes – onto the counter at the branch in Yardley, Birmingham.
The fast food giant has since apologised to James, who says he was left feeling “humiliated” by the ordeal.
Today James, of Acocks Green, Birmingham, said: “I walked up with four of my mates to McDonald’s.
“I walked up to the till and asked if I could have two chicken mayos and a large fries.
“He refused to serve me. I told him I was low and needed my food.
“I got quite angry with him and he got aggressive with me and my friend. He was leaning over the till quite a lot.
“He went away and then he stood at the back.
“A new person came over and she said she was the manager and she asked me if I had any proof of me being diabetic.
“She told me to empty everything I had on the till.
“I put my pouch on the counter and took two of my injection pins and put them on the counter as well.
“it was only then she served me after about 10 minutes.
“The member of staff who served me said it was a lot to order for one person.
“I said ‘listen, I’m diabetic I need my food, I just wanted to get my food.’
“I called my mum and she spoke to them.
“My mum was trying to get across that I needed my food and that I was diabetic.
“It just didn’t seem to get into their heads.
“They apologised eventually.”
James was only diagnosed with Type One diabetes two weeks ago and now has to inject himself three times a day.
He added: “I got diagnosed after the school holidays when we had two weeks off.
“I had a cold and had a really chesty cough and that was it for the two weeks.
“Halfway through my first day back at school I was starting to feel ill and nearly passed out.
“I went to the doctors and they told me I had type one diabetes.
“I have to inject myself three times a day, once before every meal, and I have to take a long lasting thing every night.
“I hadn’t even eaten any fast food since the diagnosis. I have been taking it easy on the food.
“This experience has made me wonder what the point is in even going to a restaurant any more. It was humiliating.”
Mum Victoria Ellis, 40, added: “They wouldn’t serve James because he was with this lad, but they weren’t standing together – he was outside.
“I want an apology and there should be staff training on how to handle these situations.
“I’m angry because my son needed to eat. It’s outrageous.
“One of the boys who was standing outside was banned from the restaurant so they obviously thought James was a troublemaker like him, but he isn’t.
“He just needed some food.”
A McDonald’s spokesperson said: “Unfortunately, there have been isolated incidences of anti-social behaviour in our Coventry Road, Yardley, restaurant where a small number of individuals have demonstrated unacceptable behaviour.
“Our priority is to ensure that our restaurants are safe and welcoming environments for customers and colleagues alike.
“We take a zero tolerance approach when it comes to anti-social behaviour and those that cause disruption will be asked to leave.
“Upon learning about Mr Ellis’ condition, he remained in the restaurant and was served.
“Other members of the group were asked to leave due to unacceptable behaviour both that day and on previous occasions.
“We apologise for any upset caused to this customer and hope he is feeling better.”