Melbourne Zoo bistro complaint letter (2011 version)

Today, the Melbourne Zoo Bistro served my 4 year old son uncooked bloody chicken and only apologised when asked to do so.  This blog post together with this Tweet, this Facebook post, this Foursquare tip and my online formal complaint to the City of Melbourne are my 2011 version of a complaint letter to the Melbourne Zoo.

I wonder how or if the Melbourne Zoo will respond?

Melbourne Zoo bistro bloody uncooked chicken

On Tuesday 5 July 2011, I visited the Melbourne Zoo and attended the Melbourne Zoo Bistro where I ordered some food for myself, 4 year old and 2 year old kids at approximately 1pm.

At about 1:30pm the food was delivered to my table in the bistro. I ate my food whilst my children ate theirs’.

My 4 year old was eating his “chicken drummets and chips”, which were basically chicken drumsticks fried in bread crumbs.

After my 4 year old had already taken a few bites of the chicken, I noticed some pinkness on the chicken & used my knife to cut in deeper and found bloody uncooked chicken.

I sought and received a refund for the meal (I was offered a replacement meal which I declined).

I spoke with the manager, David, who looked at me blankly and silently as he refunded the cash for the meal.

I asked if he would apologise for the error and he nonchalantly said sorry.

I am concerned about these two issues:

1. poor food preparation leading to potential food poisoning which risks the health of my children and others, and
2. a non-customer focused attitude by the manager (i.e. having to be asked to apologise) which may be the reason why the first issue occurred in the first place.

I have lodged a formal complaint with the City of Melbourne to investigate the issue of food safety and potential food poisoning of my 4 year old child so that it does not occur again.

It would be disappointing if the Melbourne Zoo’s great reputation was damaged by broader attention to issues like this one.


  1. Pingback: Melbourne Zoo apologises for bloody uncooked chicken | Josh's Sanctum
  2. Rebecca Mason

    Well done Josh on sending your complaint further. We need more people like you to follow up their grievances over serious issues such as this. I am grateful that you have alerted the appropriate authorities as I know our children could be the next to be served up food that is a potential threat to their health.

    I am following your progress and applaud you for your efforts and initiative to alert the appropriate department at The City of Melbourne.

  3. joshrowe

    The “anonymous” comment above from “Come on” made on July 8 at 10:25pm was made from the IP address which traces back to the domain name This domain name goes to web site of the ASX listed hospitality company “Living and Leisure Australia Group”. This company operates Melbourne Aquarium, Hotham, Falls Creek and a number of other facilities.

  4. Suzie

    Good on you. I wish I’d complained louder and expected an apology when they served me raw onion when I’d specifically said no onion. They could have killed me.

  5. Gerd

    “It happens everywhere”, come one “anonymous” (now in quotes, see above), raw chicken can make people seriously sick! Have you not seen Hell’s Kitchen? #rathernoteatatyourplace