Home London News McDonalds ‘fined almost £500k after rodent poo found in burger’

McDonalds ‘fined almost £500k after rodent poo found in burger’

McDonalds rodent poo infestation

Food surfaces strewn with rodent faeces and a rotting mouse – this was the so-called ‘hygiene’ at an east London McDonald’s.

Waltham Forest Council’s environmental staff detected an infestation at the eatery on High Road in Leytonstone and fined the firm nearly half a million pounds.

Lisa Honeycomb went to the branch on October 7, 2021, and discovered droppings halfway through her meal, clearly on her burger’s wrappings and potentially inside it.

Sickened, she protested to the council, who promptly closed the McDonald’s and asked customers to leave the premises.

Mcdonalds rat poo
Rodent droppings were clearly visible on the food preparation surfaces //SWNS
Mcdonalds rat poo infestation
It’s been described as an ‘out of control’ situation //SWNS

There was evidence of droppings in the food prep area, cooking area, staff room, storage space, cleaning supplies closet, and in a box which contained a bottle of caramel-flavored syrup.

Despite paperwork indicating that cleaning had been done, poor hygiene conditions were discovered. Several areas of the kitchen were coated in grease, dirt and dust, and a photo taken at the premises reveals a piece of expired bacon left on the floor. Food hygiene inspectors consequently shut down the 24-hour location citing an ‘imminent risk to health’.

McDonald’s admitted responsibility for three violations of hygiene regulations at Thames Magistrates’ Court and was ordered to pay a fine of £475,000 for breaching food hygiene regulations.

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.’

Mcdonalds infestation
Old food was found on the floor //SWNS

McDonald’s, the owner of over 1,000 restaurants in the UK, just had their second ever food hygiene conviction in the UK. The branch in question was granted a hygiene rating of 4, which is considered good.

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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