KFC Investigates After Researchers Uncover Fecal Matter

| by Sean Kelly
A KFC restaurantA KFC restaurant

Bacteria from feces were reportedly discovered on ice that was served in a cold beverage at KFC, according to an undercover researcher for BBC.

BBC's Rip Off Britain, which investigates food hygiene at big-name restaurants, sent an undercover researcher to the KFC location to look for red flags. The researcher discovered the bacteria on the ice and documented it for the show.

"We found high levels of bacteria in the ice," Dr. Margarita Gomez Escalada said. "The presence of [fecal] coliform suggests that there's [fecal] contamination either on the water that made the ice, or the ice itself, and so it increases the risk of getting sick from consuming this ice." 

The show visited locations in various parts of Britain, and most of the samples that were taken showed low and harmless levels of bacteria. 

"It's really hard to say how the [fecal] bacteria got to the ice that we tested," Escalada said. "The thing I think is most likely is that it got there through manipulation. So someone touched the ice and their hands weren't particularly clean."

Rip Off Britain co-host Angela Rippon said KFC was “horrified” by reports of the bacteria and sent their Food Standards Agency to the restaurant.

“This particular place now has a rating of five out five, so they're pretty good,” Rippon said. 

A 2012 report from the New York Times revealed that there is fecal matter in a large percentage of chicken meat, and roughly half of packaged raw chicken products were contaminated with E. coli.

“Most consumers do not realize that feces are in the chicken products they purchase,” Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine president Dr. Neal Barnard told the New York Times. “Food labels discuss contamination as if it is simply the presence of bacteria, but people need to know that it means much more than that.”

University of Georgia's Center for Food Safety director Dr. Michael Doyle said he was “surprised” that more of the chicken wasn’t contaminated.

“Poop gets into your food, and not just into meat — produce is grown in soil fertilized with manure, and there’s E. coli in that, too.”

Sources: BBC, New York Times / Photo credit: Wikimedia Commons

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