A restaurant has been fined Rs 25,852 by the Chandigarh District Consumer Disputes Redressal Commission after a ‘live worm’ It was allegedly found in a meal ordered by a customer. The complainant, Ranjot Kaur of Chandigarh, alleged that she and her friend had visited Chili’s restaurant in Elante Mall on September 14, 2020 and ordered a dish ‘chipotle chicken rice and chipotle paneleer rice’.
According to Kaur, when she had almost finished her meal, she found live moth larvae on her plate. He immediately asked the restaurant manager to bring the matter to his attention. Kaur alleged in the complaint that the manager came and saw the food, but showed no signs of remorse and casually asked the complainant not to pay the bill. She protested and tried to make a video of the worm in the food, to which they tried to stop her and quickly removed the food from the table. The complainant said that she managed to get the bill and paid the amount (Rs 852.75).
Kaur said that when she sent a legal notice to the restaurant, there was no response from the restaurant.
Chili’s Restaurant responded that there were no live worms in the food, as claimed, as the food was cooked and served properly. Furthermore, it was contended that the complainant wanted a discount on the food bill claiming that she knew the owner of the restaurant.
As the restaurant owner was not present at the premises, the manager told the complainant that as per policy, the discount would only be available on the drinks menu and not on the food. The restaurant maintained that after the staff asked the complainant not to disturb the atmosphere on the premises, Kaur made up the “alleged live worm” story and made a complaint that is nothing more than an attempt to intimidate the restaurant. .
After hearing the matter, the commission said that it is very clear from the video that she called the police and recorded the Daily Report (DDR) when the restaurant did not pay attention to the complainant’s request. DDR content reveals that the problem of worms in food was reported to the police against the restaurant. The plaintiff specifically mentions that the restaurant did not identify itself to her and did not even give her a copy of the invoice. For this reason, the complainant asked the police for help.
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“In our opinion, it is the restaurant’s duty to provide hygienic and safe food to customers. Any deviation from this rule may be considered a breach of duty. In the present case, the presence of live worms in the plaintiff’s food clearly indicates that this is a breach by the restaurant of its obligations.
Certainly, due to the inactive attitude of the OP (Chili’s restaurant), only the complainant was forced to dispatch the police and subsequently knock on the door of this commission to have her real grievance redressed. Therefore, the act of OP in not maintaining proper hygiene, not serving safe food to its customers and not providing adequate services demonstrates deficiency in services on its part and its indulgence in unfair trade practices,” the commission said.
The commission ordered Chili’s restaurant to refund the amount of Rs 852.75 (food bill) to the complainant and pay him an amount of Rs 10,000 as compensation, besides paying Rs 5,000 as litigation cost. The commission also ordered the restaurant to pay another cost of Rs 10,000 which would be deposited in the Consumer Legal Aid account.