HUNGRY Lion Limited has submitted to the Lusaka High Court that the claim by a Lusaka woman that she discovered maggots in the food she ordered from its Manda Hill outlet is suspicious.
The company says this is because when it inspected the picture of the chicken, it noticed that the alleged maggots were only at a specific portion of the food and did not appear to have been embedded in the food.
In this matter, a Lusaka resident, Bertha Bwale has sued Hungry Lion Limited in the Lusaka High Court, seeking compensation of K1 million for allegedly subjecting her to eating food, which contained maggots.
She claimed that as a result of eating the food, she was unwell for two months and had since failed to eat her favourite food, chicken and chips, from any other retail outlet.
Bwale wants the Lusaka High Court to order Hungry Lion Limited to award her general damages, damages for mental anguish, stress, inconvenience, costs and any other relief that the Court may deem fit.
But in its defence filed in the Lusaka High Court on November 30, 2020, Hungry Lion Limited denied that Bwale had suffered the damage, loss and inconvenience she claims to have suffered.
It admitted that Bwale ordered chicken and chips at its outlet at Manda Hill on the material date, but denied that she started eating the food at the outlet and in the process discovered maggots in the said food.
Hungry Lion Limited stated that Bwale carried the food away upon being served and did not consume it from its premises as she implied.
“Consequent to the foregoing, the defendant (Hungry Lion) denies paragraph five of the claim and will put the plaintiff (Bwale) to strict proof, thereof, as she did not consume the food from the defendant’s premises,” it stated.
Hungry Lion Limited further stated that when Bwale phoned to inform it of the alleged incident, she was asked to go to the premises with a pay forward taxi and was subsequently attended to.
“When the plaintiff later returned with inspectors from City Council, who then conducted an inspection of the defendant’s process of production of the food from the beginning to the end, the inspectors concluded that it was not possible for maggots to survive in such a system,” read the defence.
“The defendant will show that chicken and chips are transported and stored in a frozen state and only defrosted when being cooked. They are then cooked in bulk at 141°C temperature and sold the same day. Pending sale, they are kept at 65°C temperature. The Court will be invited to conduct an inspection of the same.”
Hungry Lion Limited further stated that when it inspected the picture of the chicken allegedly bought from its premises, it was noticed that the alleged maggots were only at a specific portion of the food and it did not appear to have been embedded in the food, which made the whole claim suspicious.
It stated that the alleged effects of the food on Bwale could not possibly have resulted from consuming the food bought from Hungry Lion Limited and further denied the alleged particulars of negligence.
Hungry Lion stated that it could not have given first aid to Bwale when she did not consume the food from the premises.
“The defendant denies that the plaintiff has suffered the damage, loss and inconvenience she claims to have suffered in her claim and we urge that the relief sought be dismissed with costs,” stated Hungry Lion.