A woman in Florida is claiming to have found maggots in her takeout order from a Caribbean restaurant; however, the owner of the eatery insists her food preparation is up to standard.
On Thursday, customer Keondra White told Action News Jax she became ill after eating some of her jerk chicken dish. White posted a video which showed live maggots in the food she received from Caribbean Sunrise.
“It was just pure disgust, something you can’t fathom seeing that,” White told the local news station.
Denise Daley, owner of the Caribbean Sunrise Restaurant and Bakery, says their food is completely safe.
Daley took reporters on a tour of her kitchen and explained how her jerk chicken is cooked in an oven, smoked on a grill, stored in a hot box, and heated in a microwave before it reaches the customer.
“There was no doubt on our part that the food was safe,” Daley said.
Despite Daley’s certainty, the restaurant still made a social media post about the incident, saying it “compromised our standards.”
“I have no idea what the customer did (with) the food,” Daley told Action News Jax. “but once the food leaves here, we have no control over what happens to it.”
Lauri Wright, a nutrition professor at the University of North Florida, said although high temperatures will normally kill any maggots or fly eggs, there are still exceptions.
“You want it a good 180 degrees internal temperature,” Wright told Action News Jax. “If you don’t hit that, the maggots could still be alive.”
Wright also says food doesn’t have to be sitting out for very long for flies to lay their eggs.
“Often, (the maggots) come after the food has been prepared, has been cooked, and when it’s sitting out,” she said.
While Daley claims the chicken was never left out for any period of time, state inspectors have found several violations of her restaurant.
On Friday, inspectors found there were flies in the kitchen and dining area. The restaurant also received a violation for not keeping food, including chicken and beef, in a cold enough storage area.