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Brazil: ‘Toilets must be separate’

In Brazil, mixed toilets at a McDonald's fast food outlet gave rise to a national controversy.

Published: November 19, 2021, 8:45 am

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    The American company, which has been fined, has two weeks to set up a separate toilet, at the risk of seeing its restaurant shut down, reported AFP. Health officials visited the restaurant and “found that the municipality’s health regulations had not been respected,” Bauru mayor Suellen Roim said on Twitter.

    The bathroom door showed three pictograms: the first character is wearing a dress, a second wearing pants, the last is dressed with both male and female clothes. Filmed in close-up, the signage, which indicates mixed toilets, aroused the ire of a McDonald’s customer in Bauru, a city in the state of Sao Paulo, in southeastern Brazil.

    “We have to shut down this filth,” the client comments indignantly in a video, published in the week of November 8. The clip went viral during the weekend of November 13 and 14 in Brazil, reported Correio Braziliense. Using a smartphone, the customer films a succession of individual booths, but with a shared entrance and basins. “Children are using these toilets! It’s communism in Bauru, a disgrace.” The woman goes on to say that she does not want to go to “where everyone uses the same toilet”.

    The client also called on the municipal councilors of Bauru, urging them to “take care of the city” and to “put an end to this shame”. At the end of the video, the woman leaves the “disgusting” fast food restaurant, vowing never to come back.

    The company issued a statement defending its commitment to “inclusion and respect” so that “everyone feels welcome to use” the bathrooms.

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