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Maggots were accidentally served to a Real Journeys staffer, the tourism giant confirms.

Mountain Scene was tipped off after an evening staff meal ‘sit over’ in March.

The maggots were only discovered after staff had eaten the meal, the informant says.

Real Journeys, which operates the historic steamship TSS Earnslaw and is largely owned by the Hutchins family, employs more than 400 employees at the height of the tourism season.

Our disgruntled tipster says: “Staff meals are well below standard, especially considering stokers start the day at 6am and will not be off the boat until 11.30pm that day.”

Real Journeys spin doctor Tsehai Tiffin says in an emailed statement the company deeply regrets the incident.

“It was immediately investigated and it was isolated to one staff dish – some of which had been consumed by one staff member.”

Company boss Richard Lauder was notified and an expert food safety consultant brought in to ensure it never happens again.

Real Journeys has an ‘A’ food safety grade, the highest possible.

The tipster says the maggot incident is the second such incident in a year.

But Tiffin retorts the earlier incident was reported as “a bug on some lettuce”, which happened more than 20 months ago.

david@scene.co.nz