Friday, June 26, 2015

After 'Maggi', Now 'KFC' Faces 'Unsafe' Fumes In Telangana

By Raja Reddy in Hyderabad
Telangana State Lab Finds E.Coli, Salmonella In Samples Sent By NGO; Fast Food Chain Rejects Report. But the public became cautious during the Ramazan festive season, they are not venturing into the KFC outlets despite many luring food offers.

Five samples from five outlets of Kentucky Fried Chicken (KFC) have been found to contain harmful pathogens salmonella and E.Coli bacteria. The Telangana State Food Laboratory, which conducted the test on the bidding of NGO Balala Hakkula Sangham, called the samples “unsafe“ even as KFC rejected the findings and denied any knowledge of the samples being collected in the first place.

The report (dated June 24) filed by food analyst AV Krishna Kumari of the city's Nacharam-based State Food Laboratory (SFL) stated: “I am of the opinion that the samples contains E.Coli and salmonella, which are pathogens and injurious to health.It is therefore unsafe.“ The SFL is a part of the Hyderabad-based Institute of Preventive Medicine (IPM).

“We took the samples from Himayatnagar, Vidyanagar, Chikkadpally , Nacha ram and ECIL X Road on June 18 and sent it to the state food laboratory the same day in packed and sealed condition in the original KFC snack box,“ said Anuradha Rao, president of the NGO.

The US fast food giant in turn questioned the conditions under which the samples were transported for the test. In a written statement, it said: “This alleged report is a case of false allegation. We have no knowledge of the sample being collected from any of our stores and in what condition it has been transported for this alleged test.This is a perishable food item meant for immediate consumption.“ It added: “We have not received any intimation from any authority in this regard.“

Salmonella and EColi are some of the common bacte ria transmitted by contaminated food, mainly through water and undercooked meat, experts say . “Simple hygiene, proper food-handling and heating the food up to 60 degrees can prevent these infections,“ said Dr Hari Kishan Boorugu, a consultant physician with the Apollo Hospital in Hyderabad.

The NGO, at a press conference on Thursday morning, quoted from the report in which FSL food analyst AV Krishna Kumari specifically sought to clear doubts of any tampering . “Sample received in sealed and labelled card box kept in brown colour paper, “ the analyst said.

While the NGO sought an immediate ban on KFC products, the government has not fallen for it. K Balaji Raju, the designated food safety officer (DFSO) in charge of central zone of Greater Hyderabad Municipal Corporation (GHMC) clarified that the food safety department cannot take action if food samples were tested independently by an NGO. “Only when the food samples lifted by our department turns out to be positive in food safety lab for any contamination, it can result in an action against the defaulter from our side,“ he said.

On its part, KFC claimed that it maintains the highest standards of hygiene.“There is no possibility of any microbial development in our food, which is freshly cooked at 170 degrees Celsius,“ the KFC spokesman said.

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