According to a Hyderabad based NGO Bala Hakkula Sangham the products of KFC are not safe for consumption. The NGO said that it had sent samples of food products, prepared in KFC stores, to a government laboratory for testing and the samples showed the presence of microbiological contaminants in its products.
KFC has vehemently denied the allegation and said that they were not aware that any such samples were taken for testing from any of their stores. The fast food giant said that this was an attempt to malign their reputation. Moreover, the company also stated that the way the food was carried for testing is suspect. Since perishable food products are meant for immediate consumption they need to be transported with due care for the testing.
Bala Hakkula Sangham is an Andhra Pradesh based Child Rights Association and they want the State governments of Telangana as well as Andhra Pradesh to take action against the food chain. The NGO said that the samples were picked up from Himayatnagar, Vidyanagar, Chikkadpally, Nacharam and ECIL X Road on June 18. The samples were taken in a packed and sealed condition to the Telangana State Food Laboratory (SFL), which then conducted the tests. The samples showed the presence of pathogens like E Coli and Salmonella which are considered to be harmful bacteria that can cause foodborne illnesses.
In a statement KFC claimed that their products could not develop microbiological contamination as they are cooked in temperatures as high as 170ºC. Moreover, they said that they observe the highest standards of hygiene in preparing their food products. KFC also stated that they had not received any intimation from any authority in this regard. They were emphatic about pursuing the case and said they would seek all clarifications if their reputation was in danger of being falsely damaged.
Meanwhile the NGO has approached the Lokayukta to direct State Governments to take action against the American food chain. However, the Designated Food Safety Officer in charge of Hyderabad Municipal Corporation said that the department cannot take any action against KFC. He said that the department had not sent the samples for testing and under government rules they cannot take action on the test report claims of any independent body but only on test reports that they have authorised to be conducted.