McDonald's Timaru where a customer was served Raw Chicken McBites, leading to a nationwide recall of the batch.

AIMAN AMERUL MUNER / Stuff

McDonald’s Timaru where a customer was served Raw Chicken McBites, leading to a nationwide recall of the batch.

A complaint about uncooked chicken from McDonald’s in Timaru has sparked a New Zealand-wide recall of the McBites menu item, with the Ministry of Primary Industries confirming an investigation.

McDonald’s said the raw product issue was a production issue rather than human error in the restaurant.

About a week ago, a social media post from Keegan Mackway-jones alerted customers to the issue, which included three photos and the caption “Hey McDonald’s Timaru didn’t realize I had to cook my own chicken this evening, I almost left my plate”. Mackway-Jones has been approached for comment.

McDonald’s NZ spokesman Simon Kenny said The Herald Timaru that its Timaru branch immediately investigated the raw product complaint, which included escalating the incident to head office.

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“McDonald’s worked with the supplier to confirm that the cause of the issue was an incorrect product size specification in production, rather than human error in the restaurant.”

Kenny said this meant “some of the McBites were outside of their size specifications”.

“Investigation by the supplier determined that some McBites in one batch had stuck together before being breaded. Each product has a specific cooking time, based on its specifications.

“In an abundance of caution, McDonald’s has stopped selling products nationwide while replacement stock is distributed.”

Kenny confirmed that the unavailability of the product depended on the location of the restaurant and the expected deliveries, but varied between three and seven days.

He said restaurant management had apologized to the customer and would provide an update on the investigation and subsequent action taken.

A spokesman for the Department of Primary Industry confirmed that NZ Food Safety had received a complaint and was being investigated.