A McDonald’s outlet in London, UK, was fined nearly £500,000 (approx. Rs 5.14 crore) over poor food hygiene. The action comes after a customer found mouse droppings inside a burger wrapper and reported it to the authorities. Health inspectors later discovered that the restaurant was infested with rodents and ordered it to close due to health risks, reported Daily Mail.
The eatery’s food hygiene violations came to light in 2021 after a customer bought a cheeseburger from a McDonald’s drive-through in Leytonstone, east London. As the woman enjoyed her food, she was left disgusted after spotting droppings inside the food wrapper, the report added.
Following this, the customer complained to the Waltham Forest Council after which health officials started an investigation. The authorities visited the outlet and observed that it was being operated under filthy conditions. Decomposing remains of a mouse and droppings were found throughout the outlet including in areas where the food is kept and prepared. The staff room and storage area too were found to be unhygienic during the inspection, said the report.
The health officers stated that the eatery posed an “imminent risk to health” of the customers and ordered it to immediately shut down for ten days. Legal action was initiated against McDonald’s and the fast-food chain was recently slapped with a fine of £475,000 (Rs 4.8 crore) for violating food hygiene laws. In addition, McDonald’s was also ordered by a court to pay £22,000 (approx. Rs 22.6 lakh) in legal costs and £190 (Rs 19,537) as victim surcharge, reported Evening Standard.
District Judge Susan Holdham noted that customers expect high standards in food hygiene at McDonald’s and that “this is not some backstreet burger or kebab bar – children go to McDonald’s as a treat”.
The judge highlighted that the restaurant premise was dirty and had built-up grease because of “non-existent or ineffective cleaning over long periods of time”, according to the report.
The court observed that a pest control company, which was responsible for keeping the outlet pest-free, ignored the dead mouse and other filth. Responding to the matter, a McDonald’s spokesperson said that the company apologised for the poor hygiene conditions at their east London branch. McDonald’s also stressed that they maintain a “high standard of health, safety, and hygiene” but failed “in this instance”.