A KFC outlet was found with “dirty conditions” since the staff lacked access to hot water. The fast food chain has been fined $146,000 (£100,000) for food hygiene offences.
An environmental health officer discovered concerning and unhygienic work conditions at a Kentucky Fried Chicken Ltd. (KFC) outlet in Wales, Great Britain. The staff were not properly washing their hands or thoroughly cleaning surfaces and equipment due to unavailability of hot water at the premises. The chain has been fined the huge sum as a penalty for food hygiene offences relating to its restaurant in Pontypool, a small town in the county borough of Torfaen.
KFC fined a whopping £100,000 over 'dirty' work surfaces and equipment https://t.co/Xyh6dzopXo
— joe stark pattesting (@joepattesting) May 28, 2016
KFC Ltd. pleaded guilty at Cwmbran Magistrates’ Court to three charges against them for unsanitary work conditions at a restaurant and drive-through at Lower Mill Field, New Inn, Pontypool, reported Wales Online. Apart from the hefty fine, the court has ordered KFC to pay costs of more than $6,300 (£4,300) to Torfaen council. The court even slapped on an as-yet undisclosed “victim surcharge” that the fast food chain will have to pay soon.
The incident came to light in the month of May last year. On 19 May, a senior environmental health officer from the council visited the outlet. He was at the site following a complaint. The complainant had alleged that the place had a number of serious “cleaning problems,” reported MSN.
— South Wales Argus (@southwalesargus) June 29, 2015
The complainant had even mentioned that the outlet didn’t have hot water and added that there was no access to the same in the toilets or food preparation areas, which meant that the staff weren’t cleaning their hands properly and were not able to maintain adequate hygiene. Without steady access to hot water, neither the premises nor the food preparation equipment could be cleaned thoroughly. It is not immediately clear how the complainant knew, but he even noted that the KFC outlet’s cleaning staff did not have disinfectants. This essentially meant the food preparation surfaces and equipment were not being thoroughly cleaned and was potentially a site for bacterial growth and infections.
An investigation revealed that the boiler deployed for the KFC outlet had stopped working about 10 days ago, leaving the staff with no access to running hot water. Cumulatively, this meant none of the staff, the food, preparation, or serving areas were as clean as one expects a fast food outlet to be.
During the hearing, Torfaen Council noted that the investigator found the premises’ equipment to be “visibly dirty and poorly maintained.” Appallingly, the KFC outlet was still open and working. It was still taking orders at its restaurant and drive-through window. Owing to the unhygienic conditions, officers slapped a food hygiene rating of a 0. The rating essentially confirms there’s an urgent necessity of improving the premises.
— South Wales EP (@SWEveningPost) June 30, 2015
Following discussions with officials, KFC voluntarily shuttered the premises in September and confirmed it would reopen it only after the supply of hot water was restarted. Interestingly, the location was opened the very next day, and the company confirmed the supply of hot water had been provided and standards of food hygiene had improved, reported the Mirror. A subsequent inspection of the premises found nothing wrong, shared Janet Cox, head of health, safety and environment at KFC UK and Ireland,
“Last year we were shocked and disappointed by what happened at our Pontypool restaurant. We completely accepted the findings of the May 2015 inspection and took urgent action, closing the restaurant and placing it under the review of our specialist operations team. Thanks to the measures taken and the new management in place, the restaurant was able to return to the high standards we expect.”
“97% of our 890 restaurants in the UK have achieved a food hygiene score of four out of five or above, and we’re pleased to say that since September 2015, Pontypool has held a four star rating.”
While KFC didn’t confirm, it appears the management at the outlet with the “dirty conditions” were replaced. KFC insists that this is an isolated and rare incident. However, another KFC outlet was reportedly caught serving ice that contained fecal bacteria.
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