One of the most popular Restaurants in Apia has swiftly moved to quash online rumours and reports about unhygienic conditions at the eatery.
In a press release issued on social media by McDonald’s Family Restaurant to respond to “allegations of unhygienic conditions of McDonald’s,” the establishment vehemently denies the reports.
“McDonald’s would like to respond to the allegations of unhygienic conditions posted on social media. The comments were made and manufactured by a disgruntled employee who was terminated two weeks ago,” the statement reads.
“We wish to advise our customers and the people of Samoa, that here at McDonald’s, we have quality and standards required by McDonalds to uphold in the service of our food.
“We assure you that the cleanliness of our restaurant is maintained through certified consultants which is rigorously monitored daily. If you have any questions or concerns, please contact us at +68525839 during regular business hours.”
At the beginning of the week, McDonald’s announced renovation work at the building.
“This work involves reconstruction to the existing building and its parking area and upgrading of all restaurant facilities to new international “Made 4 you” specifications,” a Press statement from the franchise said.
“McDonalds intend to remain open for as long as possible during project provided we do not compromise our food and safety standard. It is possible that at times only the drive –thru facility may operate.”
“The renovation is very necessary in order to upgrade the restaurant to McDonald’s International Standard of Operations.”
The Apia restaurant facelift is the beginning of a massive expansion by McDonald’s Samoa. It includes new outlets in Vaitele, the Faleolo International Airport and Salelologa Savaii is estimated to cost over $5 million tala.
Owner of the McDonald’s franchise in both Samoa’s, Tautolo Agaoleatu Charlie Tautolo, said franchise Apia location renovation would have a seating capacity of 121 customers as well as adding a McCafe inside the restaurant itself.
“We have already laid out all our plans for the McDonald’s Restaurant remodeling; we are looking to make it much bigger,” added Tautolo.
“And it falls in line with McDonald’s strategic plan to introduce the new system for ordering meals known as “Make-for-you” orders.
“The Apia location is the remaining McDonald’s that uses the ‘face-to-face’ model of taking orders; globally, the ‘face-to-face’ is being replaced with a “Make-for-you” model of ordering.”
Last week, the Minister of Health Tuitama Dr. Leao Tuitama confirmed that Health officials visited the facilities at McDonald’s for their routine inspection.
He said the visit was part of the Ministry of Health’s work to ensure food safety and that hygienic standards are observed.
“This is to ensure what the public are consuming are clean and healthy,” he said.
“Last week, our team visited McDonald’s several times and they have been given instructions on what needs to be done.
“Then the team returns to follow up whether the instructions given are heeded.
“I told them they should not just give instructions and not follow up on it.”
The Minister said the visit would not stop at McDonald’s.
“I made it clear to my team the need to be on top of their mandate with the site visits. This should be done on a weekly basis, especially the restaurants in the town area.”
The Minister of Health told the Samoa Observer they would take necessary action if they find that a restaurant is not up to par with food safety and proper hygienic standards.
“This means if we see the need to close the restaurants down, we will without hesitation,” he said.
“It is our duty to the people of Samoa and our tourists who are visiting our country to ensure food safety.”