It was meant to be a takeaway treat but an 11-year-old Gloucester girl got a nasty shock when she noticed the burger she’d ordered from a city chip shop was inside a mouldy bun.
She didn’t know what the greeny blue growth on the roll was and her shocked parents, who did not wish to be named, had to explain to her that it was mould.
The Abbeymead dad rang Queen’s Fish & Chips demanding an explanation and a replacement burger. He claims staff slammed the phone down on him.
The manager has since apologised for the family’s experience, saying it was an accident and he wanted to apologise directly to the family.
“I’m pretty disgusted about what happened, it’s horrible,” said the concerned father about the food delivery on the evening of Tuesday, June 23.
“My little girl came running in asking what is this under the bun. She lifted the bottom up, I don’t why – she’s a bit fussy.
“I said ‘Oh my god, there’s mould all over it’”
This was the family’s fourth time of ordering from the chip shop on Barnwood Road in the last three weeks.
Their delivery which came at 7.45pm cost a total of £16.90, it included fish and chips, steak and kidney pie and the mouldy cheeseburger. The man says they will never order from them again.
“I spent all night explaining what mould was,” said the bereft father who ended up making pasta and sauce for his daughter.
Mould is a furry growth of minute fungi that happens in typically warm conditions particularly on food.
‘I am really sorry,’ says manager
Max Sharma, the manager of Queen’s Fish & Chips, claims he wasn’t in the shop of the night of the order and wanted to extended his apologies to the “annoyed” customer for the shop initially hanging up on him by accident.
He said: “What happened is I wasn’t here that night. The girl on the counter, she did not answer – I don’t know what happened. I wish we could have taken the customer’s number so I could ring him back. It was an accident.
Mr Sharma, who has run the shop for three years, added: “We are a busy shop and we take two packs [of bread] a day out of the freezer and keep it in the fridge. I don’t know what happened.
“I have been here for three years and I have never had a complaint like this before. I am really sorry, I don’t what happened.”
Council receive 150 complaints each year about food
The family reported the mould to Gloucester City Council ’s Environmental Health team to investigate.
Complaints about food to the city council are quite uncommon, the team receives about 150 complaints each year concerning ‘foreign matter’ in food, insects, mould, food which is ‘off’ and alleged illness.
They’ve said however, if you’ve bought food, or are served food, which you’re not happy with, the Food Safety Team may be able to help.
Councillor Dawn Melvin (C, Westgate), cabinet member for economic recovery and growth, said: “The safety of the public is our primary concern and whenever we receive concerns over food hygiene, we arrange for one of our officers to contact the premises.
“Any issues are raised with the management to make sure that appropriate staff retraining is completed where necessary and monitoring processes are in place to prevent a repeat.
“The council is committed to carrying out inspections as determined by the Food Safety Act Code of Practice and visit premises to ensure any requested improvements have been made.”
Officers respond to complaints about food purchased in the Gloucester city area. Informal or formal action can be taken on behalf of the complainant.