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Mouldy burger buns shock West Hampstead diners at Gourmet Burger Kitchen

PUBLISHED: 17:00 04 July 2013

James Jones outside Gourmet Burger Kitchen in West Hampstead, where he was served mouldy food. Picture: Nigel Sutton

James Jones outside Gourmet Burger Kitchen in West Hampstead, where he was served mouldy food. Picture: Nigel Sutton

© Nigel Sutton email pictures@nigelsuttonphotography.com

A group of friends were disgusted to find a hidden extra when they were served mould-infested food at Gourmet Burger Kitchen.

One of the offending brioche buns. Picture: James JonesOne of the offending brioche buns. Picture: James Jones

James Jones, 29, from Mill Lane in West Hampstead, and visiting friend Jon Alty, had nearly finished their meals when they saw large amounts of green, furry mould growing on their brioche burger baps at the restaurant in West End Lane, West Hampstead.

Mr Jones’ housemate Jonathan Hyde had already eaten his burger by the time the others had spotted the furry fungus. He does not know whether his bun was also mouldy, although the bap on his burger was not made of brioche.

Mr Jones, a marketing manager, said: “You don’t expect to find the mould you get on students’ bread at a quality restaurant.

“I wasn’t physically sick but it made me retch when I saw it. It was disgusting.”

Mr Alty was more than halfway through his meal when he spotted the mould.

When Mr Jones checked his own bun, he saw there were large patches growing on his bread as well.

“I probably wouldn’t have noticed it if Jon hadn’t seen it on his,” he said. “I’d already eaten most of my food and some of the bread. I don’t think I ate any mould though, fortunately.”

Mr Jones said the restaurant manager apologised and agreed to give all three refunds on their burgers.

A spokesperson from Gourmet Burger Kitchen said: “At Gourmet Burger Kitchen, we pride ourselves on the freshness of our ingredients and this is an exceptional and isolated situation where we unfortunately did not deliver.

“We are taking this complaint at West Hampstead very seriously in order to ensure this does not happen again so we can continue to offer the best experience for our customers.”

Mr Jones added: “You expect a restaurant like Gourmet Burger Kitchen to have processes and procedures in place so that mouldy food is not in the kitchen, let alone being served. I wouldn’t let food in my kitchen get that bad. I definitely won’t be going back there.”

The restaurant last had a food hygiene inspection in February when it received a five out of five, ‘‘very good’’ food hygiene rating from the Food Standards Agency.

If an establishment has had a good rating, an inspector will not revisit for at least another six months and possibly up to three years.

Camden Council said it had not received any complaints about the branch.

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