Australian McDonald's worker sprayed in face with fire extinguisher in vicious attack

Police are investigating after an Australian woman was sprayed in the face with a fire extinguisher in Melbourne.

Kimberley Friend was working at the Heidelberg Heights McDonald's drive-through window on Saturday when four men came up to order.

They argued with her over the price of cheeseburgers before they left the fast food restaurant, reports 7 News.

The men returned 10 minutes later, recording the interaction on their phones.

CCTV footage from McDonald's shows Friend leaning out of the drive-through window and then being blasted by the fire extinguisher, which causes her to stumble backwards.

The white powder completely fills the room and obscures Friend from sight.

"It was so fast, I inhaled it and tasted it straight away," the 21-year-old told 9 News.

"[I thought] this is poison or something."

Many dry fire extinguishers contain mono-ammonium phosphate which can cause irritation in the nose, throat and lungs.

According to the Poison Control Center, an American non-profit organisation which aims to prevent poisonings,  exposure at such close range could cause more serious issues such as pneumonia, irregular heartbeat and kidney issues.

Friend was taken to hospital after the attack and treated.

"It was absolutely an assault," said her father Steve.

"She could have been blinded. The potential for serious injury through letting off a fire extinguisher is incredible," he told talk radio show 3AW Mornings.

Friend has taken time off work due to the shock of the event.

"We are thankful this didn't result in a more serious injury. This sort of behaviour is unacceptable," said a McDonald's spokesperson in a statement.

Police are investigating the attack.