US man sues McDonald's claims cheese burger nearly killed him

February 2021, 28-year-old Charles Olsen used the food delivery app DoorDash to order a Big Mac meal, requesting no cheese, from a McDonald's restaurant in New York City.

Follow us:

A 28-year-old American man is suing McDonald's over claims that a slice of cheese on his burger caused a life-threatening allergic reaction, despite specifying no cheese when he ordered.

Charles Olsen, from New York City, ordered a Big Mac meal without cheese in February 2021 through food delivery app DoorDash. According to legal documents filed last Friday, Mr Olsen checked the "No American Cheese" box when placing his online order. However, upon taking a first bite of the iconic burger, Mr Olsen alleges he suffered an anaphylactic reaction due to the presence of cheese.

Within minutes of eating the burger, Mr Olsen's throat and body broke out in hives and his breathing became laboured as he gasped for air, the lawsuit claims. 

His girlfriend reportedly rushed him to hospital, where doctors treated him for the severe reaction that can be fatal if not addressed immediately. After several tense hours, medics were able to stabilise Mr Olsen and discharge him.

In a statement, the 28-year-old emphasised his desire to hold food outlets accountable for ingredients used in meals. His lawyers highlighted the "completely avoidable" nature of the "traumatic experience", noting no allergy or cross-contamination warnings when the order was placed. While Mr Olsen has physically recovered, the lawsuit states he still feels anxiety when eating out after the incident.

The complaint accuses McDonald's of failing its duty to provide safe food. Mr Olsen seeks monetary damages and a jury trial against the fast food giant.