KFC South Africa has come out to assure customers that the fast-food giant's food is safe for consumption after allegations of food contamination in India.
"This allegation relates to KFC India and is in no way linked to KFC South Africa," KFC Africa Managing Director Doug Smart said.
However, he said the incident appears to be a smear campaign.
Read: KFC India fried chicken legs tainted with bacteria
"KFC India has thoroughly investigated this incident and believe this is a case of malicious intent on the part of some individuals trying to damage our brand reputation."
The Andhra Pradesh Child Rights Association, an NGO, claimed that chicken samples collected from five outlets in the Indian state of Hyderabad were found to have E. coli and salmonella bacteria.
E.coli thrives in raw or undercooked meat, unpasteurised milk dairy products and has also been found in raw vegetables and apple juice, while salmonella bacteria can be found in food products such as raw poultry, eggs, beef and sometimes on unwashed fruit.
According to the NGO, samples were obtained from Himayatnagar, Vidyanagar, Chikkadpally, Nacharam and ECIL Cross Road, but KFC has taken issue with this.
"There are no KFC restaurants in three out of the five locations where samples were allegedly collected from."
It said that KFC India has also not received notice from any authority on this matter. It also emphasised that it does not compromise on food hygiene and safety.
"KFC takes food safety extremely seriously, and follows global procedures in the preparation of our food.
"All KFC chicken is cooked at 170 degrees Celsius and we follow specific holding times to make sure our food is always 100% safe to eat and there is no possibility of microbial development in the food we serve our customers," it said.
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