Mom Seeks Regulation For Fast Food Play Areas

Alyssa Newcomb
ABC News


An Arizona mom who has been banned from eight McDonald’s restaurants because she kept swabbing their play areas in a search for bacteria says she won’t let it keep her from her anti-bacteria campaign.

 Erin Carr-Jordan, a university professor specializing in adolescent development, received a hand-delivered letter from a lawyer on Monday listing eight McDonald’s locations where she is no longer welcome.

“It doesn’t mean much to me personally,” Carr-Jordan told “I’ve gotten positive responses from parents who said,  ‘Hey, I’m not banned, give me swabs!’”

Carr-Jordan, who is a mother of four in Chandler, Ariz., said all eight of the locations are owned by Ernie Adair, who could not immediately reach for comment.

Her crusade began after she complained to a McDonald’s manager about unsanitary conditions in an indoor play area, and came back a few days later to find nothing had changed.

At that point, Carr-Jordan began swabbing indoor playgrounds around Arizona, and said what she found was alarming.

“Many of these play places are in disgusting condition.  I’ve seen rotting food, hair, stuff stuck to the wall, second-story windows broken,” Carr-Jordan said.

She claims she also found pathogens that can cause a host of serious health issues, including meningitis,  gastrointestinal disease and nausea, to name a few.

It’s a subject she feels so passionately about, she’s visited states across the country collecting samples from fast food play areas, spending  “thousands and thousands of dollars” of her own money, and not just at McDonald’s.

“They’re all the same,” she said. “And there are no regulations.”

Through her ‘Kids Play Safe’ movement, Carr-Jordan is hoping to influence lawmakers at the state and federal levels to pass a regulation requiring indoor play places to be regularly disinfected and monitored for safety hazards.

Legislators in California and Illinois have introduced legislation, and Carr-Jordan said she hopes many more will follow suit.

“This seems like a no-brainer,” she said.