WATCH: Man bites into maggot-infested KFC chicken
A MAN says he has been left mortified after biting down on a piece of KFC chicken, claiming to have found live maggots inside.
Builder Martyn Bates grabbed a quick bite to eat from a northern NSW store, buying three pieces of chicken at 3pm one day early this month.
He said he received the food in a paper bag and took out one piece to eat immediately.
The remaining two pieces were kept in their packaging and placed in his flexible cooler and kept in an air-conditioned car until he placed them in his fridge.
But he claims that when he sat down to eat two pieces at dinner about 9pm that night, he bit down on a mouthful of maggots.
"I spat it out by the way," Mr Bates said.
"It was like when you bite on tinfoil, it had a really strange taste.
"I was so disgusted I ended up gargling half a bottle of Listerine."
The experience has put the northern NSW resident off visiting the store. He said that after many days of trying to extract an apology from the store and company, he gave up in frustration and contacted the Bulletin.
Mr Bates said he immediately complained to KFC and had a video as evidence.
He said he was offered a $20 voucher and allegedly verbally told to delete the video.
Mr Bates said he was not telling his story for money and refused the offer - he wanted to let others know what happened.
When contacted for comment, KFC said it was "unlikely'' the maggots had infested the chicken under their watch.
"We have spoken to the customer in detail about his complaint," a spokesman said.
"We have explained why it is unlikely this situation happened in our restaurant pre-purchase. "KFC works closely with leading Australian forensic entomologists to understand flies to ensure our restaurant cooking and food handling practices are robust so we can keep our food safe.
"Their latest studies show that flies only deposit eggs in food with temperatures between 10 degrees Celsius and 40 degrees Celsius.
"We hold our raw chicken below these temperatures and our cooked chicken well above so again, it's unlikely this situation happened pre-purchase.
"Unfortunately during the warmer months flies are out in force across Australia, and we urge customers to take care when leaving food uncovered to prevent these instances from occurring."
University of Wollongong entomologist James Wallman said in a written statement that food "warmer than 10C and cooler than 40C and in packaging that is open or unwrapped can potentially be infested by fly eggs and maggots.
"Given the habits of flies, infestation of a KFC food item can easily occur after purchase if it is left unattended, even for a short period, before the customer has a chance to consume it."
Mr Bates denies keeping the chicken exposed long enough for flies to lay eggs on his food.
He said KFC's response had angered him.
"What would have happened if I'd just ended up in hospital with salmonella?" he said.
But it's not the first time the fast-food giant has come under fire for maggots in their meal, with a woman claiming online to have found maggots after visiting another store in NSW.
Other Facebook users also alleged they had experienced similar incidents.
A local authority spokesman said they were unable to comment on when the establishment was last inspected.