KFC store in Jiangsu raises food safety concerns after offering customer water contaminated with disinfectant
Published: Apr 11, 2021 03:18 PM
Screenshot from Sina Weibo

Screenshot from Sina Weibo

A Kentucky Fried Chicken (KFC) store in Suzhou, East China's Jiangsu Province, came under fire after its employee offered a customer a cup of water contaminated with disinfectant by mistake, then asked her to keep silent for 1,000 yuan ($152.66), Litchi News reported. 

The customer, surnamed Du, asked for a cup of ice water from an employee at the KFC store at the Wujiang Bus Terminal in Suzhou on March 29. 

However, as soon as she took a sip, she tasted disinfectant. Thinking it couldn't be true, Du took a second sip and immediately felt extremely hot and tingly from her throat down to her stomach. 

Her friend, surnamed Chen, who smelled nothing unusual from the water, also tasted disinfectant when she took a sip. 

The store employee admitted that the ice water contaminated with disinfectant were offered to the customer by mistake. 

Du felt severe discomfort in her throat and stomach that afternoon and was diagnosed with acute erosive gastritis and stomach cramps at a local hospital. 

Although the KFC store paid 1,500 yuan for her medical treatment, Du said that the store should also compensate her for lost wages and expenditure for nutrition during her sick leave. 

However, the store was only willing to pay 1,000 yuan compensation and asked Du to sign a confidentiality agreement to prevent her from spreading this incident online. 

Infuriated by the brash attitude, Du reported the incident to the Jiangsu Broadcasting Corporation. 

Through an investigation and negotiations from the local market watchdog, the KFC store finally agreed to compensate Du 15,000 yuan for her lost wages in addition to their compensation for her medical treatment. 

However, many Chinese netizens on China's Twitter-like Sina Weibo thought the compensation was far from satisfactory and defended Du against the injustice she suffered. 

One netizen named CAOSHIWEN commented, "What is 15,000 yuan for? The pain will last a lifetime if her stomach is damaged. The KFC store is bullying the girl."

This is not the first time a fast-food chain store has faced a backlash from the public over food safety problems. 

In July 2013, China Central Television (CCTV) broadcast a report showing that total amount of bacteria on ice cubes provided at a KFC chain store in Beijing, as well as chain stores of other fast-food brands such as McDonald's and Chinese fast food chain Real Kung Fu, was much higher than the national standard. 

In July 2014, a food material supplier of fast-food brands in Shanghai was exposed by Shanghai Television Station for repackaging and using meat products that had expired eight months earlier. 

Chinese netizens on Sina Weibo said that such recurring food safety problems show that the companies never rectified their work after their problems were exposed and that their workers had been given insufficient training.

Global Times