With the exposure of a series of food safety scandals, KFC has now been accused of using recycled oil in its food production, as reported by the Securities Daily on Monday.
An employee at KFC in Beijing told reporters that the oil for chips is replaced every four days, and that the oil for fried chicken that still remains at the end of the day will be re-used on the following morning.
An employee from the State Food and Drug Administration told reporters that the suitability of oil for cooking can be ascertained through a pH test. The administration has distributed pH paper to food restaurants in the past, including KFC.
"We do not examine the pH reading of oil every day, but we do conduct checks on the oil to safeguard against food inspections," another worker from the same KFC branch in Beijing told reporters.
An employee who refused to be named said that the KFC establishment at which he works will sell hamburgers even if they have been dropped on the floor in the kitchen. If there are specks of dirt in an egg tart, the specks will be taken out with a toothpick and the tart will still be made available for sale to customers.
According to KFC's rules, a hamburger can only be sold up to 40 minutes after it is prepared. However, an insider disclosed that the KFC operation at which he works would keep uneaten hamburgers on the shelves and would only replace the withered lettuce and apply new sauce.
A student who worked for the fast food giant said that unclean chicken was often wrapped with flour and then put in pots for frying, while the buckets of water used to wash the chicken were rarely refreshed.
Qiu Baochang, the chief of the lawyer's group in the China Consumers' Association, said that recycled oil is carcinogenic and detrimental to one's overall health. "How to supervise this is a matter of prime importance,"he stated.
A web user on Sina Weibo, the Chinese Twitter website, expressed her revulsion at hearing the information. "I will never eat KFC again. It is disgusting just to think of it," she said.
Shanghai-based Yum! Brands China Division, of which KFC is a brand, told the Global Times that they would provide a response to the matter, though their reply is still forthcoming.