Is it raw? Chefs weigh in on the recent Prego undercooked chicken incident

On 2 May 2023, user @boiwhatboi1234 took to their TikTok page to share a carousel of photos of a chicken dish ordered at Italian restaurant, Prego. In the pictures, the meat looks pink, which the diner said was an indication that it was undercooked.

Raw chicken incident - Raw chicken
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In the first slide, they dubbed their meal at Prego as the “Worst restaurant experience in Singapore” for being served undercooked chicken. The user warned viewers to not visit the eatery located at Fairmont Singapore.

Raw chicken incident - TikTok post
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The dish, a half spring chicken with roasted vegetables and chilli pepper, is known as Galetto Grigliato alla Diavola (S$40) in the original Italian.

A few netizens questioned the diner’s motives for blasting the incident on social media instead of settling the issue there and then. The original poster responded by saying that they did inform Prego about the raw chicken.

However, they allege that the mistake was not acknowledged and that the restaurant made excuses. In addition, the diner apparently also contacted them on Instagram on the day of the incident.

Raw chicken incident - Chicken cut open
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User @boiwhatboi1234 further expressed their disappointment in the comments section by saying “even pricier restaurants can serve raw meat”.

When we reached out to the Fairmont team to ask about how the dish was prepared at Prego, they stated:

“Vacuum packed fresh spring chicken that has been marinated with herbs and seasoning is first sous vide in a water bath and cooked twice at set temperatures and times; before being placed in a rotisserie oven for roasting between 300-320°C.”

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The restaurant is currently investigating this issue while staying in touch with the customer. They assured us that they are taking this seriously as the health and safety of their guests is their main priority. Prego’s culinary team is conducting a review and will undergo further training to ensure food safety.

So, was it really raw? The experts weigh in.

Raw chicken incident - Chicken
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prego - screenshots
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A former chef pointed out that the meat appeared to be transparent, and 2 of his colleagues agreed on this. He further clarified saying that chicken that is sous vide will typically look opaque. All in all, he believes that the customer was served raw chicken.

An Executive Chef (who prefers to remain anonymous) also believes that it was raw. He said, “There’s no excuse for a restaurant to serve undercooked meat, especially when it’s been cooked for 2 hours.”

On the contrary, a commenter on the original TikTok post who claims to be a chef voiced out her opinion: “pink does not equal raw” as the chicken is cooked to a safe temperature. She urged Singaporeans to learn more before accusing trained professionals of serving raw chicken and food.

What do you think? Was this raw or was it not?

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