The Thiruvananthapuram outlet of Kentucky Fried Chicken (KFC) was temporarily shut down on Monday after live worms were found in the chicken served to a customer.
Shiju Abdul Basheer had ordered a dish of fiery chicken. But when his wife cut a piece to feed her little daughter, she found worms wiggling in it.
The restaurant staff apologised and offered to replace the dish. “When I refused, they tried to take it away forcibly. Then, the other customers intervened and alerted the police and the food safety officials,” said Basheer.
Basheer and his brother, who had some of the chicken earlier, showed symptoms of food poisoning when they reached home. They had to be hospitalised.
The authorities raided the outlet and seized bags of chicken that were four to five months old.
“We have sent 13 samples for examination. The outlet can’t open till the reports come,” said an official of the food safety department.
The incident comes in the wake of a clampdown on unhygienic food joints, which occurred after a man died two months ago after consuming sheverma (an Arab dish) in Thiruvananthapuram.
On Monday night, the KFC outlets in Kozhikode and Kochi were raided.
“It is impossible for worms to stay alive in chicken pieces fried at 260 degrees Celsius. We don’t know how it happened,” said M Najeeb, manager of the Kozhikode outlet.
No one from the KFC franchise in Thiruvananthapuram was available for comment. But on Tuesday, a press release by them said, “We are providing full cooperation to the ongoing probe. We are committed to serving quality products to all our customers.”