McDonald’s fined £475,000 after diner found mouse dropping in their burger wrapper

  • london
  • May 3, 2023
  • Comments Off on McDonald’s fined £475,000 after diner found mouse dropping in their burger wrapper
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Food surfaces littered with rodent poo and a decomposing mouse – this was the so-called ‘hygiene’ at a McDonald’s in east London.

The company has now been fined nearly half a million pounds after an infestation was discovered by Waltham Forest Council’s environmental team at the restaurant in High Road, Leytonstone.

Lisa Honeycomb visited the branch on October 7, 2021, and found droppings half way through eating her burger.

Sickened, she complained to the council, which immediately shut the McDonald’s, asking customers to leave.

There were droppings all over the food preparation area and cooking section, in the staff room, storage area and cleaning store cupboard and in a box containing a bottle of caramel drizzle drink sauce.

Poor hygiene conditions were found despite paperwork claiming that the cleaning schedules had been completed.

Several areas in the kitchen were greasy, dirty and dusty, and a picture from the premises shows a piece of old bacon abandoned on the floor.

Food hygiene inspectors ordered the 24-hour branch to close, citing an ‘imminent risk to health’.

McDonald’s pleaded guilty to three hygiene breaches at Thames Magistrates’ Court and was ordered to pay £475,000 for violating food hygiene laws.

District judge Susan Holdham said: ‘McDonald’s is a very reputable company. When customers go to McDonald’s, they expect and have the right to expect the highest standards in food hygiene.

‘This is not some backstreet burger or kebab bar – children go to McDonald’s as a treat.

‘The premises was dirty, this was built-up grease and dirt caused by non-existent or ineffective cleaning over long periods of time.’

The branch has since been given a hygiene rating of 4 (good).

The conviction is understood to be only the second ever for food hygiene in the UK for McDonald’s, who own more than 1,000 different restaurants across the UK

A statement from McDonald’s said: ‘We apologise unreservedly for this incident and for any upset caused.

‘We are committed to the highest standards of health, safety, quality and hygiene and in this instance we fell short of the standards we set ourselves across all our restaurants.

‘We have worked closely with our Primary Authority, London Borough of Barnet, for many years on our food safety processes and controls, and whilst we have extensive food safety systems in place, unfortunately these were not adequately implemented at this restaurant on this occasion.

‘Following the incident a full review of policy and procedures was undertaken at both a local and national level to ensure an issue of this nature does not occur again.’

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