McDonald's fined £475,000 after mouse droppings found in burger wrapper

03 May 2023 by
McDonald's fined £475,000 after mouse droppings found in burger wrapper

McDonald's has been fined almost half a million pounds after a London customer found mouse droppings in their cheeseburger wrapper.

The fast food chain was ordered to pay £475,000 plus £22,000 in costs at Thames Magistrates' Court after pleading guilty to three charges of hygiene breaches.

Environmental health officers visited the group's restaurant in High Road, Leytonstone, on 15 October 2021 after a customer complained they had found droppings in their 24-hour drive through order, half-way through eating their meal.

Officers found conditions which presented an "imminent risk to health" including decomposing remains of a mouse.

Mouse droppings were also found throughout the restaurant, including next to a tray of cooking utensils, on the floor of the main cooking section, in the staff room, and in a box containing caramel drizzle drink sauce.

Several areas of the kitchen were found to be greasy, dirty and dusty despite paperwork claiming it had been regularly cleaned.

The restaurant was ordered to immediately close with customers asked to leave.

McDonald's pleaded guilty to three breaches of food hygiene and safety regulations.

Councillor Khevyn Limbajee, Waltham Forest Council's cabinet member for community safety, said the "quick thinking" of the customer had helped officers investigate.

He added: "It was appreciated that McDonald's pleaded guilty and admitted wrongdoing at the first opportunity, however as a Council we take food hygiene seriously and won't hesitate to follow up complaints and take action where appropriate, irrespective of who operates the food business."

A McDonald's spokesperson 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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