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Report Into Burger Inconclusive

Contributor:
Fuseworks Media
Fuseworks Media
Report Into Burger Inconclusive

McDonald's has welcomed the Northland District Health Board's report into a recent customer complaint from its Whangarei restaurant. The report is inconclusive as to the origin of three maggots found on the burger and to the age of the larvae. McDonald's Managing Director Mark Hawthorne says McDonald's sales volumes and food safety processes, combined with the fact food is prepared to order, means food does not sit in the company's kitchens for long and it is very difficult to see how larvae could hatch in the restaurant environment.

"The burger was 13 days old when it was received by the health board, however the report suggest the maggots were probably less than a week old. We are somewhat mystified as to how these maggots could hatch in the kitchen environment," says Mr Hawthorne.

"Food safety and hygiene is McDonald's number one priority. Our restaurants are clean and our food processing standards are among the highest and most stringent in the industry. Food in our restaurants is prepared when our customers order it. The Whangarei restaurant served around 2000 people on New Year's Day, and nearly 400 customers in the two hour period in which the burger concerned was purchased," he says.

"McDonald's beef patties are cooked on hotplates set at around 200C, and they are cooked from frozen. Given the volumes on New Year's Day in Whangarei, the cooked patties would have been held at a temperature of 85C for a matter of minutes. We require cooked patties to be hot enough to melt cheese, whereas the report has also suggested it is not likely the maggots were subjected to heat. "We have thoroughly reviewed and investigated food safety records in our Whangarei restaurant.

All food served in the restaurant on 1 January and since is within its use-by dates. All cooking and storage temperatures were correct," says Mr Hawthorne. "We have taken the opportunity to review pest control in the restaurant. All food preparation areas, including homes, are susceptible to flies at this time of year in New Zealand, particularly in the North Island. Even restaurants with standards as high as ours are at risk from a fly that gets close to food, even for the briefest of moments.

"We assure members of the public that our restaurants are safe and clean to eat in," says Mr Hawthorne. McDonald's has not received or recorded any other complaints in relation to its Whangarei restaurant from the New Year's period. The Northland District Health Board has indicated its investigation of this matter is now closed.

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