A video showing maggots squirming on a chicken at a Hunter Nando’s store has been shared more than 1500 times on social media.
Emy Wamboi posted the video to Facebook after she discovered a cluster of maggots on the chicken she bought from the Westfield Kotara store last week.
“I am not going back there,” she wrote on Facebook.
“I have not eaten chicken since then yuck.”
Ms Wamboi told the Newcastle Herald that her seven-year-old son Davie had already eaten some of the chicken when the friend they were dining with pointed out that something was moving on the surface of the chicken.
“We were very shocked, knowing Australia has high hygiene [standards],” she said.
One of the videos Ms Wamboi posted has been viewed more than 100,000 times.
A statement from Nando’s on Tuesday morning said the company would like to apologise to Ms Wamboi.
It said Nando’s had since conducted a “thorough investigation” – of which they kept Ms Wamboi updated – and found the Kotara restaurant “followed all correct cooking and hygiene procedures”.
“Nando’s has implemented a full food safety investigation which confirmed there was no other contamination in the restaurant to any raw or cooked food items, ingredients or on any preparation surfaces,” it said.
“In addition we also independently reported the incident to the local councils health authorities.”
The statement claimed that a fly or maggots could not have survived the 350 degree grill temperature that the made-to-order chicken would have been subject to before it was served.
“As the restaurant is open to the environment and the maggots were found on the skin of the chicken, we believe this incident is the result of an airborne fly landing on the chicken in the short period of time between when it was plated and subsequently discovered by the customer at her table,” the statement said.
“At the time of the incident Nando’s apologised to the customer and provided her with a full refund.”
But Ms Wamboi said she found it hard to believe that a fly could have landed, produced eggs which then hatched to release maggots within the few minutes between her order being cooked and served.
“It does not truly make sense,” she said.
“That’s not an excuse.”