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Finds mold on child’s hamburger bun

PAGO PAGO, American Samoa, (Samoa News, June 29, 2010) - Two Sunday’s ago, June 20, 2010 a woman says she stopped by McDonald’s in Tafuna to purchase a meal for her son who was in the hospital.

The lady says when she got to the hospital, her son told her the burger was too big so the lady took the burger out of its box, turned it over and found that part of the under side of the burger was "discolored."

The following Monday, it has been confirmed that the lady took the burger to the Dept. of Health, which in turn showed up at the restaurant and found enough evidence to warrant a citation. The president of McDonald’s American Samoa, Tautolo Agaoleatu Tautolo, who was at the restaurant at the time the DOH people were there, asked to see the "discolored" burger bun. The lady was summoned, and according to her, handed the burger over to him.

DOH investigators during a telephone interview with Samoa News yesterday, confirmed the lady’s story and stated that Tautolo had one of his shift managers sign the citation. They said they were told that the burger would be sent to its lab in Australia to determine whether the discoloration on the bun was mold, and if so had it turned moldy on island or from off island.

DOH investigator told Samoa News yesterday that a court hearing is set for this afternoon.

In a written statement from Tautolo, he confirmed that "on Sunday, June 20, 2010, a customer reported at our Tafuna restaurant part of what appears to be a small discoloration on one of our Big Mac buns."

"Immediately implementing precautionary action, and in collaboration with our local Public Health officials, we revisited all of our standard food safety guidelines and found that we were in compliance with the standard food safety procedures," he explained.

According to the media statement: "The Public Health officials checked the "use by date" on this particular product and confirmed that the food safety standards which are among the highest in the industry were met. We sold 148 Big Macs on this particular day, and this was the only reported case. However as a precautionary measure, we have forwarded photos of the bun to our head office in Australia for further evaluation."

"The safety and well-being of our customers is a top priority and would never be knowingly compromised," concluded Tautolo. "McDonald’s safety standards are among the highest in the industry worldwide and McDonald’s American Samoa has a proven and strong track record of food safety in the territory.

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