12:23PM, Monday 14 August 2017
The communications team for Burger King in Slough High Street has attempted to cover up the discovery of maggots in the store with a ‘cleaning story’ – before accidentally revealing the truth in an email blunder.
The restaurant closed on Thursday afternoon shortly after a customer contacted the Express to say a woman had found maggots on her tray.
The customer, who was in the queue at the time, said: “As I was stood there a lady started screaming.
“She wasn’t making a scene but there were a couple of maggots on her tray.”
The customer said the first staff member he reported it to was unfazed by the discovery and looked like he made a joke about it with a colleague before brushing the maggots into the bin and bringing the tray back.
The 42-year-old said he demanded to see the manager, who asked him ‘if he still wanted his food?’ just minutes after the maggots had been found.
The Express was later sent a statement at the top of an email chain claiming debris from the ceiling had fallen down as a result of ‘exceptionally heavy rain’.
However, the message also accidentally forwarded the exchange below between Akshat Abhishek, operations manager at Kout Food Group (KFG), which operates the store, and Shelley Sofier, managing director at Red Kite PR, which confirmed the discovery.
Akshat’s email begins: “We need your usual support to help our BK team at Slough.
“A customer found a small maggot that potentially fell from the ceiling.”
Shelley responds that she cannot find any reference to the story on the Express website, ‘so either they have accepted the cleaning story, or they haven’t run it yet’.
Mohammed Abbasi, also of KFG added: “Hi Shelly - we will stick to the equipment repair story when it comes to media.”
The official statement issued by KFG said: “Following the exceptionally heavy rain on Wednesday this week, some water damage occurred to the ceiling at Burger King in Slough.
“When the water penetrated the ceiling, a small amount of debris from the flat roof came down with it.
“As soon as we were aware of this, we asked all diners to kindly leave, and closed the store so that we could investigate the damage.
“An expert team has now completed a thorough clean, and the ceiling is undergoing full repair.
“Having been given a positive report from the health and safety officer, as soon as the repairs are completed, we will re-open.”
Talking to the Express after the email was sent, Shelley added: “We’re not denying it.
“There was a maggot in the debris which came from the roof.”
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