Red Rooster stores shut over gross photos
Fast food chain Red Rooster has abruptly closed two stores after leaked photos appear to show a breach of food handling standards.
The images shared on Facebook show a pile of cooked chickens stuffed into the back of a branded hatchback outside a store in Forrestfield in Perth.
The unsanitary process was made even more alarming as the birds were reportedly being transported on a day when temperatures had exceeded 30 degrees.
"The chooks were on rotisserie skewers being brought into the store," said Mark Copley, who took the photos.
"The boot was lined with cardboard but nothing else. Not wrapped, not refrigerated.
"The opportunity for cross-contamination is immense, plus the fact food is stored in the danger zone for temperature."
A sign at the front of the store simply says the chain's site had closed until further notice "due to unforeseen circumstances".
"We apologise for any inconvenience caused," it also said.
Red Rooster confirmed to news.com.au that it had closed both Waypoint and Forrestfield in Western Australia after the photos surfaced on social media, saying it is "extremely disappointed by the incident".
"These stores will remain closed while detailed investigations are conducted, required actions are taken and we are satisfied that the operating standards of these locations meet the high expectations of our strict brand standards," the company said in a emailed statement.
"We have alerted the relevant authorities and are working with them closely while our local staff on the ground undertake the investigation and actions required to meet our brand standards.
"As a precaution, all potentially impacted product has been removed and disposed of.
"All surfaces, equipment and facilities have been thoroughly cleaned and sanitised.
"Supplier deliveries have been suspended until such time stores are approved to reopen."
The incident comes after the troubled chain shut seven stores last year, all located on the Sunshine Coast in Queensland.
The shock closures left more than 100 jobs in the lurch, with retail experts agreeing further Red Rooster closures could be on the cards.
A news.com.au reader also claimed at least one other Australian Red Rooster store had closed "very recently", with signs stuck to the door of a Belconnen outlet in the ACT indicating it had shut down, although it is not known whether that alleged closure was permanent or temporary.
A spokeswoman from Red Rooster's owner Craveable Brands told news.com.au there had been two Red Rooster stores closed last calendar year due to ended leases, two that were transferred into Oportos due to "demographic fit", and one that closed due to a voluntary administration.