Another day, another animal part mistakenly cooked into a KFC meal. In the latest reported case, this morning, an Australian woman in Brisbane says she bit into something that “looked like a brain,” possibly deep-fried into some chicken at a southeast Queensland restaurant, according to the local Courier-Mail.
“I called up the store because we’d already had issues with other parts of the meal,” said the woman, who didn’t want to be identified by the newspaper. “The potato and gravy smelt like a cigarette tray and tasted like cigarettes.”
A KFC spokeswoman said the fast-food chain was sorry for the woman’s experience, according to the paper, but assured it was not a health issue: “Our chicken is hand-prepared and cooked fresh, but occasionally mistakes happen and organs are not removed when they should have been.”
This isn’t the first time a KFC customer has claimed a brain or other body part in a meal, and produced what they said were photos as evidence. That’s hardly surprising for a company as far-flung as the Louisville-based Yum Brands division, which has nearly 15,000 restaurants in more than 125 countries. If each one served only 500 meals daily — a very conservative figure — that would be 7.5 million a day, and 2.7 billion a year.
What’s more, several of the news accounts come from British and Australian newspapers, which are famous for sensationalized reporting. Still, like rubbernecking past an especially gruesome roadside wreck, we can’t help gawking at:
- a “brain-looking object” in April in Denver
- a lung in February, also in Queensland
- another brain in February 2015 in Stockton, Calif.
- a wrinkled kidney and “almost a complete spine” in February 2013 in the U.K.’s Brighton
- yet another brain in January 2013 in the U.K.’s Cochester
- and still another brain in October 2010 in the U.K.’s Swindon.
Well, you get the picture. Except, wait: maybe you don’t. The news story photos are too disgusting for Boulevard to publish here, so we’ll link to the most recent one in Australia, which we’ll term NSFW — or home.
In many of the stories, KFC officials have offered the same explanation as the one in today’s story out of Australia: food is hand-prepared and mistakes happen.
To be sure, there have been false reports of foul parts that were later debunked, including one about an entire rat last month in Los Angeles. “A third-party independent lab tested the suspicious meal,” the Los Angeles Times said last Wednesday, “and determined it was undoubtedly a piece of hand-breaded chicken–an assertion KFC stood firm on.”
Related: KFC just hired its latest Colonel Harland Sanders impersonator — alarmingly tanned actor George Hamilton, to sell its extra-crispy chicken.