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Meals binned due to mouldy burger buns

A local family got a nasty surprise when they were about to bite into their takeaway meal this week.

On Wednesday, Clareville-based business owner Kathleen Langford decided to treat her “big household of six” to a meal from Masterton’s Burger King [BK] outlet after a busy day and ordered 19 items totalling $206.69 from the BK menu through Deliver Easy.

But as soon as Langford opened her burger, she was “shocked” to find mould on top of her bun.

“Then I looked underneath it, and there was mould underneath the burger – and on the other two burgers as well.”

Adding to the family’s disappointment, the two servings of chicken bites they’d ordered hadn’t been included in the delivery.

Unimpressed that they were “out of pocket” and without dinner, Langford tried to call Burger King multiple times, but couldn’t get through and left a message.

She was able to contact Deliver Easy, and provided photo evidence of the mouldy burgers.

Although the delivery company didn’t provide a refund for the burgers, it did refund the family for the missing chicken bites.

When Langford spoke to the Times-Age, she thought it was unlikely they’d be giving the fast food outlet any further patronage because “that was just foul”.

Masterton resident Bradley Dolden’s BK meal was also marred by “three speckles of mould” growing on the underside of his chicken burger – although that didn’t prevent him from satisfying his appetite.

After picking up his meal from the outlet, he was alerted to the possibility of mould by a Facebook post from Langford about her family’s experience, so checked his bun before tucking in.

“I laughed, to be fair,” he said.

“I took a photo of it, then picked the mould off and ate it… Well, I paid for it – it’s an inconvenience to go back.”

Noting he has a “pretty hard stomach” – “I eat food off the floor if I drop it” – Dolden put the incident down to amusing human error and said he’ll “probably” go back to the store.

“Unfortunately, we have had a few instances of mouldy buns,” a Burger King spokesperson confirmed to the Times-Age.

“These were highlighted to us yesterday [May 2] by our restaurants which, in most cases, did not serve these buns due to following our strict processes and procedures.

“We take matters like this very seriously and immediately raised it with our supplier and began an extensive investigation.

“We have worked with our supplier to minimise and eliminate further impact to our customers in regions where this has occurred.

“MPI has been contacted and the restaurants have been directed to discard all buns delivered at the time they received the mouldy buns.

“At the same time our operations excellence team was working closely with the affected sites to ensure all processes, controls and appropriate actions were taken at the restaurant level to minimise any negative impact to our guests.

“As a future action, we will be following up with the Ministry of Primary Industries [MPI] to understand in greater detail how our supplier will prevent this from happening again.

“Affected guests have been refunded and offered replacement product.”

“New Zealand Food Safety has not directly received any complaints related to mould on burger buns at Burger King Masterton,” MPI’s New Zealand Food Safety deputy director-general Vincent Arbuckle said.

“However, Burger King has informed us about a few customer complaints regarding mouldy buns.

“Burger King has put in place steps to manage this appropriately.”

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