- Denise Daley, owner of the Caribbean Sunrise Restaurant and Baker in Jacksonville, said there is no way her jerk chicken made anyone ill
- Daley said her food is cooked in an oven, smoked on a grill, stored in a hot box, and heated in a microwave before being served to customers
- Daley spoke out against the accusations after customer Keondra White claimed she found maggots in her food and posted footage of it online
- Experts say that high temperatures normally eradicate any maggots or fly eggs found in food, but it depends on how high those temperatures are
A Florida restaurant owner is fighting back against accusations that her food made a customer sick after the patron complained she found maggots in the dish.
Denise Daley, owner of the Caribbean Sunrise Restaurant and Baker in Jacksonville, said there is absolutely no way her jerk chicken specialty made anyone ill after giving a tour to Action News Jax over the weekend.
Last week, Keondra White wrote on Facebook that she’d ordered a plate of jerk chicken to go from the Caribbean Sunrise Bakery and Restaurant in Jacksonville, but that when she got home to eat it, the dish had live maggots crawling around in it. She also posted a video of the food, which the Fillgapnews will not post here (click the link above to see it for yourself).
“WARNING @CaribbeanSunriseBakery&Restaurant CARIBBEAN SUNRISE ON MAIN STREET!! WARNING… This was MY food…..”
Oddly enough, the restaurant’s denial was perhaps not as strong as the situation would dictate. First, the restaurant did acknowledge in a Facebook post that there was an “incident” at the restaurant that “compromised [their] standards,” but stopped short of admitting sending out food with maggots in it. Second, they didn’t deny specifically that there were maggots in the food, instead insisting only that the food they sent out was “safe.”
“We have retraced all possible steps to determine where, when and how the quality of the food could have been compromised and put additional measures in place to prevent such occurrences.”
‘There was no doubt on our part that the food was safe,’ Daley said, adding that her famous chicken is cooked in an oven, smoked on a grill, stored in a hot box, and heated in a microwave before being served to customers.
Daley spoke out against the accusations after customer Keondra White claimed she found maggots in her food, posting footage of the to-go order to the internet.
The clip shows the Caribbean chicken dish in a Styrofoam container crawling with insect larvae.
The restaurant admitted via social media that there was an incident that ‘compromised our standards’ earlier in the week, but insisted they were not at fault for White’s experience.
‘I have no idea what the customer did (with) the food,’ Daley told Action News, ‘but once the food leaves here, we have no control over what happens to it.’
The exact nature of those compromised standards remains unclear.
Experts say that high temperatures normally eradicate any maggots or fly eggs found in food, but it depends on how high those temperatures are.
‘You want it a good 180 degrees internal temperature,’ University of North Florida nutrition professor Lauri Wright told Action News. ‘If you don’t hit that, the maggots could still be alive.’
Even so, if there are maggot eggs in the food, then maggots may very well emerge. Moreover, food does not have to be out very long before flies begin to lay their eggs.
‘Often, (the maggots) come after the food has been prepared, has been cooked, and when it’s sitting out,’ Wright said.
Daley insists that the chicken served to White was ever left out for any period of time.
According to Action News, health inspectors found violations at the restaurant on two consecutive days, including the discovery of flies in the kitchen and dining area and not keeping food, including chicken and beef, in a cold enough storage area.
Health inspectors, however, did not find serious violations or maggot infestations that contaminate any food products stored at the restaurant.
‘I do apologize that we had to be put in this light to the general public,’ Daley told WTLV.
‘Our intentions are very good and we’ll continue to provide safe quality food to the customers to ensure that they enjoy the meals and that they remain safe while eating our food.