Munchies Peri Peri, Gravesend, speak out against mouse infestations and undercooked food

A peri-peri chicken takeaway has hit back at what it calls “prejudicial” accusations suggesting it has a rodent problem and is serving undercooked food.

Munchies Peri Peri, in Gravesend, has come under fire from customers who say they saw mice on the premises and claim they were served raw meat.

Customer Jimmy Babalola, the founder of GTown Talents, had entered the chicken shop at 10:30 p.m. last Saturday to grab a bite to eat.

However, after paying £16 and sitting down to have a meal with his friend, the 32-year-old saw two mice entering and leaving the premises through the front door.

The community worker claimed staff had turned a blind eye, but bosses said pest control companies had confirmed there were no rodents living on the premises.

Mr Bablola said: “I was really disgusted. As soon as we saw them, we told the store staff several times and they ignored us, it was like they knew it was happening.

“The worst thing is that customers eat there and have no idea.

Munchies Peri Peri in Gravesend. Picture: Munchies Peri Peri

“Mice were going in and out of the entrance in collapsing places in the store.

“To me, it clearly seemed like they were living there and that’s not right.”

Jimmy claimed he told the store owner at least five times, but felt like he was deliberately ignored.

He added: “In the end they closed the store and the staff were rude.”

The Gravesend resident complained directly to the store and initially received no response to his message.

Jimmy Babalola, founder of Gtown Talents, claimed there were rodents at Munchies Peri Peri in Gravesend
Jimmy Babalola, founder of Gtown Talents, claimed there were rodents at Munchies Peri Peri in Gravesend

He then contacted the council and posted about his visit on social media.

After his message, many others started talking about their own experiences.

A woman, who did not wish to be named, filmed a mouse inside the premises four months ago.

She said: “The video was taken on July 23.

“I was walking past the store when it was closed and there were four mice running around the store.”

A mouse seen inside Munchies Peri Peri
A mouse seen inside Munchies Peri Peri

Speaking about the mouse allegations, a spokesperson for Munchies Peri Peri said: “On Saturday between 10.30pm and 11pm we had two customers who noticed mice entering our premises from outside.

“They reported it to our member of staff who reported it to the manager.

“The staff are not trained to catch mice nor is it their job to do so, at the time the customer had already scared the mouse away and it ran outside.”

The spokesperson explained that the night Mr Babalola visited and the mouse was seen, the manager asked staff to ensure that the floor was cleaned from where the animal was.

They added: “Because it was the weekend and the pest control contractors only worked during the week, we arranged for them to visit us this week.”

Munchies Peri Peri, in Gravesend.  Photo: Munchies Peri Peri Google
Munchies Peri Peri, in Gravesend. Photo: Munchies Peri Peri Google

Munchies says a regular pest control contractor, Monitor Pest, visits the site every four to six weeks.

The spokesperson said: “We have already reported this incident to them and are currently awaiting a visit from them.”

This was due to take place on Wednesday and pending this visit the company confirmed that it had called another independent pest control contractor called Ebbsfleet Pest Control.

The contractor visited the store on Tuesday and filed a report, a copy of which Munchies provided to KentOnline.

The spokesperson added: “The contractor has ruled out any signs of mice or rats living on our premises, including the basement.

The door where a customer claimed to see rodents entering and exiting Munchies Peri Peri.  Picture: Munchies Peri Peri
The door where a customer claimed to see rodents entering and exiting Munchies Peri Peri. Picture: Munchies Peri Peri

“However, they did mention finding signs of rodents outside the store in the alleys – these are not managed by us and are outside our premises.

“Following this incident, we concluded a deep cleaning of our store and closed early on October 10 to complete it.

“We have also implemented additional checks to be carried out every three hours until we are satisfied that no mice are near the premises.”

Munchies said the next Independent Pest Control visit is expected to take place next week.

The spokesperson said: “We did not initially respond to the customer who filed the mouse complaint as it was sent out of office hours.”

‘We have completed a deep cleaning of our store’

Other complaints about allegedly undercooked food had also been filed against the restaurant in February.

A woman, who also did not wish to be named, posted about Munchies sharing photos of the burger served to her.

She posted photos of a seemingly undercooked burger and urged others not to eat out.

She said: “I got a burger from them in February and when I complained they said it was supposed to look like this.

“I kept telling them otherwise and said I wanted a refund.

The undercooked burger at Munchies Peri Peri for which a customer was reimbursed in February
The undercooked burger at Munchies Peri Peri for which a customer was reimbursed in February

“I finally got one, but then I got messages from a few people at the company asking me to take my message down and that I was wrong.

“I was pregnant at the time and actually ate part of the burger not realizing it could have been much worse.”

In a response to the lady’s message, Munchies acknowledged there was a problem and the food was not up to par, but said after contacting the woman they never heard back. ‘them.

The message read: “We can assure you that there is definitely something wrong here. We are on it and will get back to you soon.

“Excuse me for the inconvenience, we need to do some checking before letting you know what’s wrong here.”

The undercooked burger at Munchies Peri Peri for which a customer was reimbursed in February
The undercooked burger at Munchies Peri Peri for which a customer was reimbursed in February

Munchies opened in March 2021 despite negative claims the takeout holds the highest food hygiene rating of five, which came a month after it opened.

Gravesham Borough Council, the authority responsible for environmental health and food safety assessments, confirmed officers had received a complaint and were in contact with the establishment.

Some comments in online customer reviews suggested that the food served by Munchies was allegedly undercooked and pink.

The takeaway defended its cooking methods, adding: “We have proven our cooking methods to the council on several occasions.

“Our marinating process contains food coloring and because of this our chicken sometimes looks pink, we have proof emails from the board confirming this.”

“The two people who ate the meal now have food poisoning”

A Google review gave the takeaway a star.

Becca Higgins posted: “Bought a meal last night it was awful. Wasted £35 on two meals, food tasted like cardboard, wasn’t even hot, tasted like it had been warmed up.

“The two people who ate the meal now have food poisoning. Not good and will never come back!”

Another reviewer, Ajay Bunger, said: “The food was terrible, the wings were pink, undercooked and not fit to eat.

“The burgers weren’t cooked properly and I tried to contact Munchies on their phone number but no one seems to be answering the phone waiting for my refund from Just Eat.”

Evidence of Munchies Peri Peri contact with Monitor Pest Control.  Picture: Munchies Peri Peri
Evidence of Munchies Peri Peri contact with Monitor Pest Control. Picture: Munchies Peri Peri

On the JustEat delivery app, Munchies is rated four stars out of six – with critical reviews focusing on delivery issues.

Charlotte rated the food six stars, saying, “The food arrived quickly and hot. Delicious! Will be ordering again.”

Ryan rated the food four stars, saying: “The half chicken wasn’t very good and quite inedible, the wings on the other hand were unreal.”

There were several other six star reviews with no comments.

The Munchies spokesman added: “Misrepresentation about any business, especially the food industry, ruins its reputation and during this difficult time when all small businesses are worried about bills and rising cost of food is the last thing we wanted to happen.

Confirmation of Munchies Peri Peri's contract with Monitor Pest Control.  Picture: Munchies Peri Peri
Confirmation of Munchies Peri Peri’s contract with Monitor Pest Control. Picture: Munchies Peri Peri
Munchies on Just Eat.  Image: Just eat
Munchies on Just Eat. Image: Just eat

“Obviously mice have entered our store from the street and also run away, we keep the doors open to let customers know we are open.

“We understand it’s important to raise concerns if something goes wrong, but the intentions behind it should be good.

“I hope that after all the work we have done, customers who have complained about us on social media will also post an appreciation for our efforts.”

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