Telangana lab finds salmonella, E coli in KFC samples

Telangana lab finds salmonella, E coli in KFC samples

The Telangana State Food Laboratory (SFL) has said it has found presence of salmonella and E coli bacteria in samples of food from Kentucky Fried Chicken (KFC), provided to it by Balala Hakkula Sangham, an NGO working for child safety and protection.

The NGO, in a press conference on Thursday, had said it had had samples collected from five KFC outlets—at Himayatagar, Vidyanagar, Chikkadapally, Nacaharam and ECIL Crossroads—on June 18. 

The NGO claimed it submitted the food samples in their original take-home packaging to the Telangana SFL, which is a part of the Institute of Preventive Medicine. 

Addressing the joint press conference, SFL Food Analyst A V Krishna Kumari said the samples contained salmonella and E coli, which are injurious to health. She also released a report, dated June 24, to mediapersons.

The NGO subsequently urged the government to ban KFC as Section 34 of the Food Act says a seller violating it is liable to seven years' imprisonment. 

However, KFC has trashed the allegations, describing them as malicious. “We believe this is a case of malicious intent on the part some individuals trying to damage our brand reputation,” said KFC in a press release here on Friday. 

“We have no knowledge of samples being collected from any of our stores, and have not received any intimation or notice from any authority in this regard. We got to know of this report from the media, and there are a lot of inconsistencies in what has been reported,” said the release.

KFC said the supplier of chicken mentioned in the report is not even in the poultry business. Also, reports claimed that samples were collected from five KFC stores, whereas KFC has no outlet in three of them, it said. 

“We are not sure if these alleged samples were actually picked from a KFC store, and the condition in which they were stored or transported. The products we sell are freshly cooked and are a perishable food item meant for immediate consumption,” said KFC.

“In any case, there is no possibility of any microbial development in our food, which is freshly cooked at 170 degrees Celsius,” it said.

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