West Kowloon Magistrates’ Court on Monday dismissed a complaint against the Hong Kong operator of McDonald’s restaurants alleging that one of its fast-food outlets had sold a hamburger infested with maggots.

Lam Wing-kwai, a Mass Transit Railway maintenance worker, told the court that at around 11pm on September 8 last year, he bought two Tabasco Onion Ring Angus burgers at a McDonald’s restaurant in Luk Yeung Galleria shopping mall in Tsuen Wan in the New Territories, Sing Pao reported.

Lam took the burgers back to his office. After finishing the first one and planning to eat the second burger, he found sesame-seed-like objects in the burger box.

However, Lam remembered that there had not been any sesame seeds on his first burger, and upon closer examination discovered that the “seeds” were in fact maggots.

He photographed and filmed the maggots before filing a complaint with the Food and Environmental Hygiene Department.

In court, the magistrate accepted the defense argument that there was no proof that the maggots were in the burger at the time of sale, Oriental Daily reported. As there was a gap in the burger box, a fly could have entered the box after the sale and given birth to the maggots.

MHK Restaurants Ltd had been charged with selling food not of the quality demanded by the purchaser. The charge was quashed.