Manchester United are facing scrutiny following allegations that guests at an event held at Old Trafford stadium were served raw chicken, leading to several individuals falling ill. The incident sparked investigations by the Trafford Council and the club to determine the cause of the alleged food poisoning.
According to The Athletic, the allegations arose from an unnamed event hosted by Manchester United at Old Trafford in recent months. Multiple guests reported experiencing symptoms consistent with foodborne illness, including nausea, vomiting, and diarrhea. These symptoms align with potential food poisoning caused by Salmonella, a bacteria commonly associated with raw or undercooked chicken.
According to the government's website, the club's current food hygiene rating is 5, the highest grade possible. This rating suggests that Manchester United adheres to strict food-handling practices. However, the incident has raised concerns about potential lapses in these practices during the specific event. The stadium's annual Food Standards Agency (FSA) inspection was scheduled for October 23, 2023, but the results have not yet been updated.
Manchester United generates substantial revenue from hosting events and providing hospitality at Old Trafford. The club has yet to issue an official statement regarding the allegations, but the incident will likely impact its reputation and future bookings.
Meanwhile, the club is preparing for a potential 25% takeover by Sir Jim Ratcliffe, who is expected to invest heavily in improving the club's infrastructure, including addressing ongoing issues at Old Trafford, such as the leaking roof. Ratcliffe's plans also include investing £245million into enhancing Manchester United's overall facilities.
The investigations into the alleged food poisoning incident are ongoing, and it remains to be seen whether the raw chicken served at the event was the direct cause of the guests' illnesses. However, the incident has highlighted the importance of maintaining food hygiene standards at Old Trafford and across all hospitality operations. Manchester United will need to address the concerns raised by this incident to ensure the safety and well-being of its guests and maintain its reputation as a premier football club.