The Ahmedabad Municipal Corporation (AMC) fined a McDonald’s outlet in Ahmedabad’s Sola area Rs 1 lakh on Monday; two weeks after pictures of a dead lizard in a cold drink served by them went viral on social media.
The civic body also stated that the restaurant will be subjected to surprise checks for the next three months.
Additional medical officer of health at AMC Dr Bhavin Joshi told, “The restaurant has been penalised with Rs 1 lakh today (Monday) after the said complaint and inspection of the unit by AMC health officials.”
On the terms of reopening of the unit, Dr Joshi said, “After paying the fine, the restaurant will be given two days for cleaning up. Following this, an inspection will be held and the unit it will be allowed to reopen if the team finds it satisfactory.”
On May 21, the AMC took cognisance of a complaint by one Bhargav Joshi who posted photos of the dead lizard in the cold drink served by McDonald’s on Twitter.
AMC food safety officer Devang Patel had collected cold drink samples from the outlet for testing at the public health laboratory in Ahmedabad and sealed the restaurant with immediate effect for “larger public health safety”.
At the time, AMC had ordered that the outlet is not permitted to reopen its premises without prior permission from the civic body.
In a statement on Monday, McDonald’s stated, “We follow very stringent and extremely rigorous food safety procedures and protocols, which include food safety checks and tests done at the supplier level right up to the restaurant. Regarding the alleged matter, after having completed an internal review, we are confident that this incident cannot take place at our restaurant. We more than suspect there is foul play as already stated in our initial reply to the authorities.”
“The facts, including serving the beverage in an open glass, the size of the parts of the machines used to dispense drinks, etc., make it impossible for this incident to have occurred at the outlet. Further, within the restaurant, we conduct regular sanitization of all working and storage areas. Our operations processes are highly standardized and designed to prevent any such incident, as being alleged by the customer,” it added.
“The food safety authorities who visited the store found nothing and all was in order, as we are fully compliant with applicable food safety laws. As good corporate citizens, we are consistently abiding by applicable laws and have paid the fine only as a part of the process imposed by the authorities. We are known both in India and worldwide as a restaurant brand with an impeccable health and hygiene measures in place,” the statement said.