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KFC ordered to pay £40,000 over uncooked chicken

Brought to justice

The fast food chain, KFC have been instructed to pay in excess of £40,000 after a branch in Blackwood, Wales was found to have served undercooked chicken. The company were prosecuted by environmental health officers from Caerphilly County Borough Council, after an official complaint was made by a member of the public.

The customer had purchased a three-piece original-recipe variety meal from the Blackwood branch, which was sent to the public analyst who discovered that all three pieces of the chicken were insufficiently cooked. Upon visiting the restaurant, the environmental health officers were alerted to failures in company procedure which had resulted in the sale of undercooked chicken.

Newport Magistrates’ Court found Kentucky Fried Chicken (GB) guilty of placing unsafe food on the market, and a failure to implement safe cooking procedures. KFC was subsequently ordered to pay a fine of £35,000, costs of £6,122, a victim surcharge of £170, and £500 compensation to the complainant.

A warning to caterers

Councillor Eluned Stenner, the council’s cabinet member for environment and public protection said, “Our Environmental Health Officers conducted a thorough investigation and secured a successful outcome in order to protect consumers and public health.”

The case in Blackwood precedes news this week that a British mum of two died whilst on holiday in Corfu, as the result of eating uncooked chicken. Natalie Rawnsley, who had selected the meal of chicken and prawns from a hotel buffet ate one mouthful of the raw chicken before her husband noted that blood appeared to be oozing from the meat, at which point she set the chicken aside and retrieved another piece.

The triathlete soon became unwell and tragically died just 36 hours later, in a Corfu hospital, having been refused relocation to a mainland hospital with better facilities. The distressing tale is an indication of the tragedy which can unfold should caterers not adhere to food safety laws.

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