A young child was "traumatised" after biting into an "entirely raw", stone-cold chicken McBite from a McDonald's in Tauranga - a health hazard the fast-food giant attributes to a mistake made by a staff member.
A parent posted a photo of the raw chicken to the New Zealand forum on Reddit on Thursday, saying their six-year-old was horrified after taking a bite of the McDonald's side the previous night.
"PSA: Might want to lay off the chicken bites at Maccas... seems they are now serving them medium rare," the parent captioned the photo.
"My poor six-year-old was traumatised after biting into one of these yesterday evening. [Seven of the 10] were entirely raw and cold inside!"
The photo of the McBites shows pink, visibly uncooked chicken underneath the fried crumb coating. For evidence, the parent laid the receipt next to the plate, which is dated Wednesday, February 9.
A McDonald's spokesperson confirmed the store is aware of the incident and "human error" was to blame for the undercooked chicken.
"McDonald's Tauranga management were alerted to an order of undercooked chicken McBites by a customer. Management apologised and the customer was refunded their full order. As per our processes, the incident was investigated," the spokesperson said.
"On review of CCTV it was identified that human error was the cause of the product being undercooked. A staff member lifted the incorrect basket from the fryer when a timer went off. A health and safety report has been filed and further relevant actions will be taken with staff involved."
The photo of the raw McBites was met with disgust by Reddit users.
"This happened to me in the early '90s... I've never had nugs from McDs ever since. Traumatising. Sympathies for your kid," one person commented.
"I'd probably throw up," said another. "I always [take] a little bite and a look at whatever I'm eating before I chew or swallow it. Every nugget, every bite of anything chicken."
Consuming raw chicken can put you at risk of illness. The raw meat is often contaminated with Campylobacter bacteria, Salmonella bacteria and Clostridium perfringens.
Eating undercooked chicken can result in foodborne illness, also known as food poisoning. You can also get sick if you eat other foods or beverages that are contaminated by raw chicken or its juices. Symptoms include diarrhoea, fever, stomach cramps, nausea and vomiting.