Investigation into maggot in pizza claim

UNWANTED EXTRA: Megan Fronings' uninvited dinner guest.
UNWANTED EXTRA: Megan Fronings' uninvited dinner guest.

Health inspectors have launched an investigation after a New Plymouth woman found a suspected maggot in her pizza.

The Taranaki Daily News revealed yesterday New Plymouth woman Megan Fromings had laid a complaint with Pizza Hut New Zealand claiming she had found a maggot in her cheese and mushroom pizza.

Lloyd Crow, the manager of enforcement at the New Plymouth District Council, said an examination of the central New Plymouth Pizza Hut premises would commence immediately.

"A full-on investigation needs to be carried out. Any matter like this we regard very seriously," Mr Crow said.

A Pizza Hut spokesperson said the incident had been investigated by the area manager who visited the store yesterday with a local environmental health officer.

"Both the area manager and the health officer have checked and verified all our food safety procedures."

Mr Crow got into contact with the complainant after seeing the photo of the $4.90 pizza and the suspected maggot in the newspaper.

"We are taking it very seriously," he said. "The first thing we have to do is interview the customer and get the particulars about where it was purchased, what time and date and the period of time between purchase and consumption," he said.

There were a number of different ways an insect could appear in food items and the inspectors would have to eliminate the various options, he said.

"It is our responsibility to find out where a suspect item comes from and whether it was cooked into the pizza or not. Obviously if it is an alive maggot it puts a different perspective on things."

Mr Crow said the inspection would take place as soon as possible and he hoped to have an outcome by Monday.

The Pizza Hut spokesperson said food safety was paramount at Pizza Hut and their suppliers' businesses.

"Unfortunately the item that appeared in the photograph on Facebook is not available for us to collect so we are unable to determine exactly what the customer found in her pizza or the source."

Pizza Hut provided vouchers to the customer as a goodwill gesture.

Taranaki Daily News