A social media video has some people questioning their eating habits, after a woman shared a short clip showing chicken she claims to have bought from a KFC outlet in Lydenburg, Mpumalanga, swarming with what appears to be wriggling maggots.
The dramatic video ends with the distressed woman exclaiming “we’re all going to die”, but not everyone is buying her distress, or the source of the chicken.
KFC South Africa replied in the comments section asking the customer for a receipt to prove the chicken was bought from them, while tweeps roasted her for lying in the comments section.
“Hello there, thank you for informing us about your experience. Please send a photo of your receipt or proof of purchase/payment and your contact details so we can look further into this? ^Team KFC|SS,” the KFC tweet reads.
KFC South Africa confirmed to The Citizen on Tuesday afternoon that they are aware of the incident, but that “it must be noted that our chicken is cooked at high temperatures of 170°C and held in warming cabinets above 60°C , 22°C above the minimum standard temperature.”
They say the presence of maggots in KFC chicken when purchased is simply not possible under these conditions.
Meanwhile, the speculation on Twitter continued.
One Twitter user wanted to know if the maggots wouldn’t have been killed in the blazing hot frying oil, or whether the maggots appeared while “on those trays that collect dust and customer/staff breaths”.
Twitter user @_Neshaune_Kings responded by saying he worked at a KFC outlet in Tshwane and that hot chicken doesn’t necessarily mean it has been deep fried.
“Sometimes when we had fried chicken left over [in] the night, we stored it and sold it again the next day… just because it’s hot it doesn’t mean it was fried… Microwave swirrat [sic],” he said.
Referring to the above comment, KFC South Africa also told The Citizen that they have stringent processes in place to forecast and manage their supply according to specific restaurant demands. “Any potential left-over chicken is safely discarded and not resold to customers the following day,” the company stated.
This isn’t the first time KFC has made headlines for their “added protein” inside their famous fried chicken pieces.
Last year, a customer from Durban also took to social media to share his disgust after claiming to have bought maggot-filled fried chicken from KFC at Phoenix Plaza in Durban.
At the time, tweeps questioned the validity of the customer’s claims, arguing that it seems highly unlikely for maggots to still be alive after being deep fried at between 150°C to 180°C. Another Twitter user argued at the time that the drumstick was soggy meaning it had been kept for more than one day.
The claims eventually led to KFC issuing a statement in which they said that their strict global policies and processes include specific cooking times and temperatures to ensure that their products don’t pose a health risk to their customers. The statement also said the chicken was quality and safety checked 34 times from the farm to the restaurant, before it is served, to ensure customers are served freshly prepared chicken.
This also the same response The Citizen received from KFC South Africa this afternoon. The company added that the video from last year has since been deleted from Facebook and that they continue to pride themselves in their food, safety and quality processes and remain confident that KFC chicken is safe to eat.
After the latest KFC maggot revelation, we decided to do our own research to find out just how these maggots could have ended up in the chicken.
Here is what we found:
From our research, it’s clear that it is near-impossible for maggots to survive the deep-frying process. The only possibility to explain the maggots in this Twitter user’s chicken thigh is the possibility that either the KFC outlet where she bought it from left the chicken outside where flies laid their eggs on the food, or she left it outside once she bought it, before eating it.
When a fly lays eggs, they turn into maggots which hatch within a period of seven to 20 hours.
Cooking Chew explains that chicken, whether cooked or raw, shouldn’t be left out at room temperature for more than two hours, and no longer than one hour if the room temperature is warmer than 32°C.
They recommend throwing food out if it has been left out for this duration of time as it is then no longer safe to consume.