With social media being a big part of our lives, it can be used for many things good and bad. Unfortunately a lot of the latter, and one of the main problems facing social media is the spreading of fake news. Fake news spreads like wild fire and could prove to be very harmful to the subject at hand, which is why I urge people to search for the truth first before just sharing these stories and very often than not, the truth is very easy to find. KFC have been hurt in the past with such fake news about how they go about preparing their chicken, hence they launched their Colonels Kitchen Tour, which see's them going around the country to random branches of KFC, inviting local media and influential personnel to get a behind the scenes experience of what goes down in the kitchen of a general KFC.
Last week the tour stopped off at KFC Gateway and I was part of a lucky few to who attended. After formalities were complete it was time to go into the kitchen and the first thing that gets your attention is how strict their are on hygiene, well obviously it is a food prep area but the controls put in place to ensure that this standard is met not only amazed me but others on the tour. From wearing hairnets at all times to washing your hands every 30 minutes or after touching other areas of your body, KFC do not take cleanliness lightly. Especially since most of the food prep involves staff using their hands to make your food.
We were given a detailed step by step demo on what happens from the time the product is delivered, to how its stored, chilled then prepped to cook, what temperatures are needed for them to accept deliveries and if the product doesn't meet their standards it is sent back. There is a freezer where the chicken product is stored and a chiller for other products. The chicken is defrosted, checked for any defects such as bruises or feathers, then dunked in water, drained by being shaken 7 times then added to breading station which consists of flour, the secret 11 herbs and spices and other additives. The chicken is then folded 10 times in the mixture, ensuring every part is coated perfectly, drumsticks get a double coat as when frying it tends to lose some coating if only coated once. Then the chicken is patted down 7 times to make sure everything sticks on. This procedure is called the 7/10/7 which is performed every time when making chicken. The pieces are then placed on frying racks, and each piece has its own place on the rack ensuring a thorough cooking process.
All of KFC's chicken products are cooked in high pressure fryers, for 15 minutes, ensuring that the chicken is golden crispy and perfect every time. Oil in these fryers are checked daily with an oil checker made especially for these fryers. We then moved onto the food prep are to see where all the delicious burgers, wraps and orders are made. The food prep station is spotless with all the cooked products available to the person who is making it in the various warmers which are labelled accordingly. Food is assembled in a matter of minutes and sent out to dispatch. It's astonishing the workings behind the scenes and many take it for granted as we don't get to see what goes on. This tour helped dispel those myths and fake news about how things go down in the kitchen at KFC and left me pleasantly surprised to see the measures put in place by KFC SA, speaking to the owner of the store after the tour, he said how they'd get inspectors coming to look for even the most smallest things, that is how far they go to ensure the stores are spic and span.
It was a long morning and things do get hot in the kitchen so after seeing them make all this delicious food, we were treated to a lunch time feast which no one could say no to!