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Home   Medway   News   Article

Strood couple find cigarette butt in special fried rice from Mao Buffet in Chatham High Street

06 December 2013
by Alan McGuinness

Tracy Antoine and her husband Jeffery were surprised when they got the whiff of a cigarette burning in their Strood home, because neither of them smoke.

But their curiosity turned to astonishment when they discovered it was coming from a cigarette butt in their special fried rice, which was reheating in the microwave.

Tracy decided to have the snack the day after buying special fried rice from the Mao Buffet, in Chatham High Street.

The cigarette found in special fried rice by Tracy and Jeffery Antoine

The cigarette found in special fried rice by Tracy and Jeffery Antoine

As Mrs Antoine, of Hyacinth Road, heated up the remainder of the rice the next day, her husband walked into the room and said he could smell burning.

It was not until she was halfway through feeding her one-year-old child that she claims she made the discovery.

She said: "I was disgusted. We've had takeaways from there before and never had any problems."

The restaurant has disputed the couple's claims, saying there was no way the cigarette could have got into the food - although it has offered a refund as a gesture of goodwill.

But Mrs Antoine said when she phoned to complain, she was told the chef responsible for the cigarette had been "disciplined".

The special fried rice was ordered from Mao Buffet in Chatham

The special fried rice was ordered from Mao Buffet in Chatham

The family said they will not be eating from there again and have reported the restaurant to trading standards and Medway Council's environmental health team.

The council, which ordered more than 50 food outlets to clean up their act last year, has confirmed it is investigating.


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Restaurant director Yin Hoang said all meals were prepared fresh and kitchen staff are adamant no one was smoking in the kitchen on that night.

She said: "I'm 100% sure there was no tobacco in the meal."


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