On Thursday January 31st, 2008 at aprox., 02:44 pm, I wanted to get out of cooking dinner, so I purchased a bucket of chicken from KFC to take home.
I picked up my son and his friend from school at 2:55 pm. They smelled the Chicken and it got their appetites going. I don't blame them, it smelled really good.
When we got home at about 3pm, I got each of us a plate. My son had two legs and half a breast, his friend had two legs and a thigh, and I had two thighs and the other half of the breast.
The legs and breasts seemed to be cooked okay. However, the thighs were bloody in the middle.
My first bite was fine, but on the second bite, I got a mouth full of bloody tasting chicken. At first, I could tell by the texture and the temperature that there was something wrong. I only chewed on it for a few seconds. Then came the taste of chicken blood and I spit it out. It was awful.
I didn't want to scare the kids, or, gross them out, so I did not say anything to them at first. I sat that piece aside and gave it the benefit of the doubt. The kids did not saying anything, so I thought theirs must be okay. I looked at their chicken as they ate, and it appeared to be okay.
I very cautiously began to eat another thigh. Sure enough the darn thing was raw in the middle. It really ticked me off.
I am a Chef by trade with over 20 years of institutional quantity prep training. I worked many years as a director of food service. Proper food temperatures, cooking times, storage, and sanitation are most important to health and safety of the public, in the food service industry.
Trust me, that would not have happened had I been the cook. When there is a large amount of meat/chicken being prepared, I will use a food thermometer on the largest pieces. Especially thighs. They must be 160 or above in the center, next to the bone. I will also wait a few seconds to assure that no blood oozes up out of the hole that I pierced. Only clear juices will ooze.
It is so very important to cook fried chicken, or, any chicken, thoroughly, with very strict times and temperatures.
I know these things, because I am a certified foodservice manager, trainer and cook. I was also a director of food service in quantity food prep., and a certified inventory manager as well.
I am livid at the thought of the incompetence and carelessness of the managers at this KFC regarding their responsibilities to train and supervise food service personnel and cooks. However, I am aware that this is not the majority of well-trained cooks, managers and other food service personnel.
Point being, I love the flavor of KFC and so do many others. But, in my lifetime, this incident has not been the first bad experience with KFC. This is just the first time that I felt I must bring it out into the public, for the health and safety of others.
My advice to the public, is to not take for granite that something has been stored or prepared properly, just because it looks good, smells good, or, has a label. Be cautious of foods that you do not prepare yourself. And, raw meats are very dangerous.
Honestly, after this experience, I doubt if I could really enjoy the privilege and convenience of taking a break from my own kitchen and skipping the hard work it takes to fry my own chicken. Which my son loves, by the way. :0)
KFC has discouraged me again; I can only say that it is a pity. Some others will probably never return. I must admit, I do like the flavor of KFC chicken.
Honestly, I have never had undercooked chicken at Popeye's or, Churches or, any other restaurant. As for myself, I have prepared chicken for hundreds of thousands of people over the years.
By the way, are you wondering about the other thigh, that my son’s friend was eating? I caught him after a few bites. Yes, it was bloody/raw in the middle also. That's when I broke the news to them about mine. I educated them on food preparation and the danger of undercooked meat.
Here is my challenge to the KFC CEO:
I am a retired director of food service in institutional quantity prep with experience in fast food, and as a prior convenience store/deli owner and operator, and am experienced in restaurant cooking. Cooking is still one of my hobbies.
Since I am retired, I would be willing to travel anywhere, as a volunteer for KFC on occasion (travel expenses provided by KFC) to help correct discrepancies regarding any of KFC's district mangers and restaurant managers, who have been failing in the area of customer satisfaction and proper food preparation and handling.
Let me help KFC by grading your district managers and store managers for the public. This would be done mostly by unexpected/surprise inspections by someone they would not normally have contact with.
Manager’s inconsistencies need to be brought to their attention. This is a good thing for managers. A surprise inspection with some good advice may even save some of your customers’ lives, by avoiding possible food poisoning.
Let your 6,000 or so, restaurant managers and KFC's district managers prove themselves. Make them aware that the consumer is watching them, and they need to be responsible. Keep the managers on their toes. This is what they get paid for.
The whole problem in a nut shell, that I see KFC managers facing, translates into lack of proper training and consistent supervision of their own food service personnel, concerning preparation of food and customer satisfaction.
Basically, KFC needs to re-enforce its management team of their responsibilities. This would cover proper supervision, training of personnel, quantity/quality preparation, proper temperature controls (use of food thermometers, proper cooking times and procedures) food textures and color, food storage (safe holding times) and temperatures of food warmers; Not excluding Safety, Sanitation requirements, and customer service/satisfaction.
Anyways, if KFC accepts my offer to help, that's what I would do to help fix what I see as a problem that will get bigger if not attended to. And, my advice is free, so take me up on it. I am freed up. E-mail me if you’re interested at email@example.com.
P O BOX 1015
Attachments: Picture and copy of reciept available for proof.