Maggots, cockroaches among unappetising surprises for Kiwi diners
Maggots, cockroaches and glass are among the unappetising surprises New Zealanders have found in their food this year.
By mid-May, nearly 90 food complaints had been made to the Ministry for Primary Industries (MPI), with food-borne illnesses, out-of-date products and foreign objects among the concerns.
One KFC Gate Pa customer in Tauranga found his chips a bit crunchier than expected - a cockroach lurked inside.
KFC general manager Brent Kitto said the store was unable to determine where the insect had come from.
"There was no evidence to suggest it came from the store,'' he said.
"The Gate Pa KFC store has an excellent food and safety record and robust pest control programme.''
Bay of Plenty District Health Board confirmed that based on pest control records, the store didn't appear to have an insect infestation, Mr Kitto said.
At Countdown Churchill Drive, near Wellington, a shopper found swirling maggots in a cheese, while in Hamilton insects were discovered in bulk food bins at Moshims Discount House.
Countdown spokesman Luke Schepen said there had been an issue with the refrigeration over the previous two days.
Temperatures were at 8 degrees Celsius, instead of the standard 4degC.
"All other products in the case were removed from display, thoroughly checked and discarded that day.''
The display was taken out of service until repaired, and Countdown apologised to the customer.
Moshims Discount House's owner Umesh Reddy blamed a pest exterminator for insects in his bulk food.
"They come and do our servicing every month in the summer. They changed the guy who was it and they were supposed to follow it up, but I don't know what happened,'' he said.
"I rang them and said 'what's happening? You have to come and do it, otherwise we will have a problem'. They came and did the service.''
Mr Reddy said he had cleaned up the shop and the new exterminator now knew to visit regularly.
"I will be following very seriously on that. Those people have it on their calendar. I don't think it will happen again.''
Insects weren't the only thing hiding in people's foods _ glass was on the list, with pieces found inside a potato pie at Cherrywood Cafe in Tauranga, and in two hot beverages at Muffin Break in Mt Maunganui.
A woman, who said she was the Cherrywood owner, said she didn't know where the glass came from.
The cafe had checked all the other pies and threw them away, despite finding nothing.
"I don't know where it came from. In the flour, I don't know. We don't know what happened. It never happened again,'' she said.
David Drury, from Foodco New Zealand, which owns the Muffin Break brand, said in their case a latte glass had shattered on top of the coffee machine.
Staff had cleaned it up, but pieces inside two cups were missed and served to the council's food health inspector.
"I followed it up immediately,'' Mr Drury said.
The council and the owner had a meeting the following day, when they went through safety procedures.
Foodco has since asked for all glasses to be removed from coffee machines and all latte glasses to be replaced with ceramic.
"It's been a huge undertaking, but we are taking it very seriously,'' Mr Drury said.
Among the 90 cases released by the ministry, many companies had rectified the issues raised, while others received official warnings or educational letters.
Two unnamed cases were being prosecuted, but MPI refused to disclose those involved saying it could "prejudice the maintenance of the law''.
- This story has been updated. An earlier version incorrectly referred to Countdown Churchill Drive as Countdown Churton Park.
- © Fairfax NZ News
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