NEW DELHI (AFP) - Would you like some fries with that lizard? A pregnant woman in Kolkata in eastern India has complained of finding a lizard in the french fries she bought at her local McDonald's restaurant.
McDonald's said Friday it was investigating the incident. A picture circulating widely on social media and local news channels showed a tiny lizard amidst golden-brown fries in the chain's iconic red carton it uses to serve french fries.
AFP could not immediately verify the authenticity of the photograph. The incident happened on Tuesday when Priyanka Moitra went to grab breakfast at her local McDonald's restaurant in Kolkata city.
"I was like, yuck! Oh my God, this is a lizard in my fries," Moitra told the NDTV news network in an interview aired on Friday.
"I spoke to the area's sales manager, spoke to the in-charge but they dismissed it with a neglectful attitude," said Moitra, who filed a police case Tuesday evening. The police later temporarily shut down the restaurant.
"We are taking the situation seriously," McDonald's said in a statement. "Immediately upon being made of aware of the complaint, we launched a thorough investigation in an effort to gather the facts of the matter... it is still ongoing."
The restaurant has since reopened after receiving a green light from food safety authorities, a company spokesperson said.
Food safety standards are often lax in India where it is difficult to build a watertight supply chain due to a shortage of infrastructure and resources.
Tainted water, unreliable cold storage facilities and a lack of education on hygiene pose serious risks for international food chains, whose reputation can suffer a big blow from one local slip.