Melbourne Zoo apologises for bloody uncooked chicken

Melbourne Zoo together with the Melbourne Zoo Bistro’s caterer, Liberty Catering Concepts, have apologised for serving bloody uncooked chicken to my four year old child.  I accept their apologies and hope that a mistake like this does not occur again.

Here’s what happened today.  Following my lodgement of a formal complaint with the City of Melbourne 2 days ago, a food inspector visited the Melbourne Zoo Bistro and inspected their facilities and audited their food handling processes.  The City of Melbourne have been very impressive with their handling of my complaint, taking the issue of food safety very seriously and keeping me updated through out the inspection process.

Putting aside the health issues, from a social media perspective it took the Melbourne Zoo two whole business days to respond to a serious customer complaint made through Facebook & Twitter – is that ok in this day and age?

This morning Zoos Victoria posted this message on the Melbourne Zoo Facebook page:

Zoos Victoria  Hi Josh, we’re really sorry to hear about your experience at the Melbourne Zoo bistro – thank you for alerting us to this issue.

We want all our visitors to have a great day at the zoo and this of course includes the experience at our catering outlets. If you would like to chat about this to one of the directors of the catering company we would be happy to arrange this. Our official facebook page is or you can get in touch by emailing
and this tweet from the Melbourne Zoo Twitter account:

@MelbourneZoo Melbourne Zoo @joshrowe Hi Josh, so sorry to hear about your experience. Someone will be in touch with you this afternoon.

and this letter (PDF) from Liberty Catering Concepts sent via email:

Libery Catering Concepts
PO Box 74
Elliot Avenue
Parkville VIC 3052

T (03) 9285 9440
F (03) 9285 9244
Mr Josh Rowe

Via email

Re: Liberty Catering Concepts poor food experience at Melbourne Zoo

Dear Mr Rowe,

I am writing to you in response to your visit on Tuesday 5th July to the Lakeside Bistro at
Melbourne Zoo. I am extremely disappointed that we served your child undercooked chicken on that occasion in the form of the Drummet dish. I have been furnished with the photo that you
took on the day and can agree entirely with your reaction to this incident.

Whilst we have been the caterer at Melbourne Zoo for a year now this is the first time that we have performed so poorly in both food service and the appropriate management response in
dealing with what was a serious food issue during your visit. For this I sincerely apologise and can assure you of my complete attention and my investigation and rectification of the incident.

I have reviewed the complete preparation and cooking process with the Head Chef and have formed the opinion that a step was not completed on the day of your visit which caused the
undercooked product to be served. This indicates poor supervision on the day and a flaw in the following of procedures by a team member. I have taken steps to ensure that this will never occur

I can assure you that all our food served at Melbourne Zoo is purchased locally, prepared on site and served with care. In this instance we have let you down and for this I am embarrassed and
upset that it has occurred. Again I apologise and welcome you back whenever you please at my expense so we may offer you a positive experience.

Please feel welcome to give me a call to discuss further on 0417 552 569 or via return email.

Yours sincerely

Justin Forrester Director