7:10am Wednesday 14th May 2014
By Gina Bebbington
A FAST food restaurant has been fined after it admitted selling undercooked chicken that was eaten by a three-year-old boy.
KFC, in Chesterway, was investigated by Cheshire West and Chester Council’s (CWAC) food safety inspectors after a little boy spat out a mouthful of mini chicken fillet burger saying that ‘it tasted funny’.
Queensway Hospitality Limited, which operates the restaurant and drive-thru under franchise, was prosecuted by CWAC following a complaint from the boy’s family in February 2013.
The company appeared at Chester Magistrates’ Court on Thursday, May 1.
The court heard that a man bought the burger from the drive-thru as a treat for his son to eat at home.
It was sent to the public analyst who found conclusively that part of the burger had not been adequately cooked.
Food safety inspectors found evidence to suggest that in some in instances chicken was being under defrosted and additional items were added to the defrosting cabinet during a defrosting cycle.
The company accepted this was a serious incident.
They reacted promptly, conducted their own internal investigation and a thorough review of procedures.
They also admitted that their investigation revealed evidence of falsification of records by staff, although the cause of the incident in February 2013 could not be established.
Vanessa Griffiths, head of regulatory services at CWAC, said: “At sites such as this, where high volumes of high-risk foods are being served, it is critical that staff are well trained, understand the value of food safety procedures and have the right equipment and time to ensure that our public can eat high quality, safe food with confidence.”
A spokesperson for KFC said: “We acknowledge that in February 2013 our Northwich restaurant failed to meet the high standards that we and our customers expect from KFC.
“This was an extremely rare incident, and we immediately put in place stringent measures to avoid any possibility of it happening again.
“We always try to have a positive relationship with environmental health officers, and we are in the process of arranging a meeting with the local environmental health officers to explain the changes we have made at the Northwich restaurant.”
Queensway Hospitalilty Limited was fined £500 and ordered to pay £2,500 towards CWAC’s costs and a £50 victim surcharge.
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