When you go to a restaurant you have the reasonable expectation that your food will be properly prepared. So imagine one patron's surprise when he was recently served a raw chicken sandwich at a KFC in Ontario, Canada.
According to reports, a photo of the offending sandwich was subsequently posted on the social news site Reddit; it shows what appears to a bite taken out of a piece of partially cooked - but mostly raw - chicken.
Reddit user bonneriffic12 uploaded the nauseating image last week, which he posted with the following description: "Fried Chicken #FAIL. My friend ordered a chicken burger from KFC & it came back raw. Yes he ate that bite that missing."
Gross, for sure, but dangerous as well
The user went on to say that his buddy was distracted by a conversation he was having with his brother and as such did not notice the chicken fare was severely undercooked until he began to take another bite.
In the comments section of the post, bonneriffic12 added the sandwich was purchased in Ontario, where package information is written both in French and English. The acronym PFK in French stands for "Poulet frit a la Kentucky," and is translated as "Chicken fried Kentucky style."
Britain's Daily Mail newspaper, which reported on the menu malfunction, said KFC did not return requests for comment. No surprise there.
But there's more to the story. It's not just that the site of uncooked chicken with a bite missing is nauseating; undercooked chicken carries a notably high risk of salmonella contamination, and that's no laughing matter.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in Atlanta says people infected with salmonella can develop diarrhea, abdominal cramps, fever and other conditions 12 to 72 hours after becoming infected. The illness can then last up to a week. In extreme cases - those that usually involve children or the elderly - the infection can eventually spread to the bloodstream and kill.
In the U.S., about 42,000 cases of salmonella infection are reported annually. Of them, around 400 or so are fatal, the CDC said.
This isn't an isolated case involving the KFC franchise.
In fact, according to the Huffington Post, workers at one restaurant in Conroe, Texas, claimed recently that they served 16-day old meat that had actually spoiled.
A local television news affiliate, KHOU in Houston, reported that the raw chicken had been stored in boxes for 16 days - six days longer than KFC policy permits, which says chicken must be served within 10 days of being killed.
Workers admitted serving the chicken, even though the smell made one of them nearly vomit.
Not dead, but crippled for life
In April of this year, a former KFC manager claimed he was forced to sell meat that had already turned green.
"After the KHOU 11 news team uncovered these allegations, KFC closed the location for a week, in order to "re-train" the employees about food safety. The restaurant is now reopened," HuffPo reported.
Also in April, the fast food franchise was ordered to pay $8.3 million to the family of an Australian girl who was left in a wheelchair and severely brain-damaged after eating a tainted chicken dish.
"In 2005, Monika Samaan, then seven years old, her parents and her brother were hospitalized with salmonella poisoning after eating a 'Twister' chicken wrap at a KFC restaurant near Sydney," Reuters reported.
KFC commented that the incident was "tragic," but - surprisingly - went on to say the company was stunned by the award and vowed to appeal it.
Australian media quoted the family's lawyer as saying the girl's illness had "exhausted" their financial resources and that the award was "very much needed."