A branch of the popular fast food outlet, KFC in Braamfontein, South Africa, has reopened after a chicken washing scandal hit the social media, but customers still have doubts.
As reported on the Inquisitr, on around May 8, two photos of KFC employees washing chicken pieces with a hose on the dirty concrete floor behind the Johannesburg branch were taken from a balcony in the Clifton Heights apartments behind the store.
The images immediately hit Facebook and Twitter and received an astounding response as people reacted with sheer horror. Ironically, the KFC branch has a product on offer called “Streetwise 2,” which didn’t help them in the controversy.
Shortly after the photos appeared the store was officially closed while investigations were underway.
— Sowetan LIVE (@SowetanLIVE) May 8, 2015
Times Live reports that the chicken washing scandal has continued with the release of a video of the KFC staff hosing down the chicken, given to a journalist at the South African Broadcasting Corporation (SABC) by a woman who wishes to remain anonymous.
A popular South African cartoonist also caught on to the trend with images of President Jacob Zuma hosing down chicken.
— Eyewitness News (@ewnupdates) May 12, 2015
Since the chicken washing scandal went viral online, the store was initially closed. KFC South Africa’s managing director, Doug Smart eventually said in a statement that the chicken was to be discarded and was not intended for human consumption.
However, Smart did say the staff at the KFC branch had breached protocol in their methods of getting rid of the product.
“Having looked into the circumstances at our Braamfontein store, we can confirm that this is an isolated incident involving this store only. This was chicken never intended for sale to customers and at no time was any customer at risk.”
“However the way in which they handled the product to be disposed of definitely did not follow our procedures.”
KFC later posted a statement on the social media saying that, under the correct protocol, staff should have discarded the product prior to it being breaded and spiced ready for consumption and that the staff were trying to hide their error from management, little knowing there were cameras operating in the apartments behind them, thus causing the chicken washing scandal to emerge.
“The franchisee required the team to discard product before breading it to avoid breading (mixture of flour and our secret recipe of 11 herbs and spices) waste. The team had some waste that they had discarded with breading on it and they were washing it off to hide it from management.”
The statement continued to explain that KFC has “strict processes in place, even when it comes to food disposal” and they added that they will not tolerate their outlets not following the correct rules.
“We have already dealt very firmly with the owner and responsible people involved.”
In the meantime the Braamfontein store has reopened and is continuing business as usual. According to the Twittersphere, however, the reopening received a mixed reaction.
— Eyewitness News (@ewnupdates) May 11, 2015
KFC full-page ad to apologise for Braamfontein branch debacle. Don’t know many brands with the courage to say sorry pic.twitter.com/LZYhFexKTp — Patrick Conroy (@PatrickConroySA) May 10, 2015
The Braamfontein KFC took the 10 second rule WAY too far.
— Mojakisane Lehoko (@mojaklehoko) May 10, 2015
Meanwhile, the SABC reports that the National Consumer Commission has been involved in an investigation into the chicken washing scandal at the KFC branch in Braamfontein.
While KFC South Africa appears to have cleared up the matter, they report that the anonymous woman who filmed the video footage of the chicken washing scandal included above, as well as other customers of the outlet, are not totally convinced. She spoke to the SABC about the incident.
“I thought okay maybe this chicken fell and they throwing it away that’s when I saw the other guy come out with the hose pipe and he was sort of hose piping the chicken and then I noticed that what they were actually cleaning out from that was the blood. Don’t they consider health? It’s not acceptable because we buy here, we trust them to make our food properly.”
The video below gives more detail of the KFC Braamfontein operation and reason for the chicken washing scandal.
[Image: KFC Chicken CC BY-SA 2.0 Marufish, insert from Facebook]