KFC Chickens Are Raised with High Standards from Chicken Farms

In true Colonel fashion, ensuring the highest-quality fried chicken starts with the chickens themselves, including how they’re raised and treated. This is why we’re committed to only sourcing our chickens from suppliers that adhere to established animal welfare practices.

We're committed to only sourcing our chickens from suppliers that adhere to established animal welfare practices.

You already know that KFC uses 100% real chicken and 0% mutant chickens, and that we’re committed to doing things the Hard Way. But our high standards for making Colonel-quality fried chicken also extend to how our chickens are raised and sourced. In fact, KFC’s parent company, Yum! Brands, established the Animal Welfare Advisory Council in 2003 to ensure that KFC chicken farms follow humane animal-handling practices.

 

So who are these suppliers? We source our chicken from 2,000 farms across the USA, many of which are family-owned small businesses. These KFC chicken farms are required to raise chickens humanely, in cage-free environments, based on the standards established with the Animal Welfare Advisory Council. The Council was also instrumental in developing a set of ethical sourcing principles that apply to all poultry, beef, and chicken suppliers in the US. These guiding principles focus on:

  • Animal treatment
  • Partnership with industry experts
  • Ongoing training and education
  • Performance quantification and supplier improvement
  • Communication with industry leaders

 

At KFC, we feel a quality end product begins with chickens that are treated well.

Where’s the Chicken? How KFC Might Run out of Chicken

It’s late in the evening. With your stomach rumbling, you stop into the nearest KFC to get your chicken fix. You scan the menu, looking for the perfect crispy, crunchy bite that’ll satisfy your craving. You place your order and wah-wah. The restaurant is out of breast pieces. How can this be? KFC sells chicken. How can KFC run out of chicken?

 

With farm-fresh chicken this good, it’s hard to keep it in stock. So KFC ensures it doesn’t run out of chicken by scheduling deliveries of fresh chicken to each restaurant two to three times per week. Each piece is hand-breaded by a real person, in house—not in a factory miles away. Chicken is cooked in the Colonel’s patented pressure fryer and served up hot and juicy. This time-intensive process creates the best taste, perfect temperature, and absolute highest quality.

 

But once in a while, unexpected demand (such as a large same-day catering order) might result in chicken not being immediately available when you walk up to the counter. We take it as a compliment when our customers want this much chicken served up, although it could result in a temporary lack of product for other guests. As much as we hate the idea of delaying any customer’s experience of finger lickin’ goodness, it’s worth it to provide exceptional quality and freshness as we hand-prepare more.

 

And even though customer ordering patterns can be unpredictable, it would be rare for KFC to run out of chicken. Farm-fresh chicken is delivered multiple times a week to all KFC locations, and KFC cooks conduct product checks throughout the day to ensure there’s enough on hand. Using guest feedback surveys, each restaurant measures availability, with restaurant operators being accountable for the results. Weeks before you place your order, a computerized supply management system is already calculating how to keep a stream of fresh and crispy fried chicken flowing as smoothly as the Ohio River.

KFC chicken is fresh

So if KFC runs out of chicken, it’s because our chicken is fresh and made to order. But with our high degree of oversight and care, KFC being short on freshly prepared chicken is about as rare as mashed potatoes without gravy.

KFC’s Zinger: The World-Famous Chicken Sandwich Is Going to Space

Ever since humans have gazed at the stars, we have had one singular dream: to get a spicy chicken sandwich up there. Finally, KFC and World View are realizing that eternal human dream. KFC has the groundbreaking spicy chicken sandwich, the Zinger. World View has the groundbreaking technology, the Stratollite. Stratollites are amazing high-altitude balloons that can execute a variety of flight profiles, which gives them the ability to do all sorts of amazing things. Things, like, beyond putting spicy chicken into space. Read more about it below.

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A world-shaking convergence of spaceflight and fried chicken history is upon us.

Ever since the beginning of history, humankind has looked skyward and dreamed of one day taking its place among the stars. The story of flight has taken us from Leonardo da Vinci’s workshop to the Wright brothers’ trials at Kitty Hawk, straight through to the dawn of the Space Age at Cape Canaveral. Those missions into space are the stuff of legends: Mercury. Gemini. Apollo. Skylab. The Space Shuttle. The International Space Station.

 

And now . . . Zinger 1.

 

KFC and World View are joining forces to embark on the greatest fried chicken adventure since Zinger 1 Mission Commander Colonel Harland Sanders founded KFC in 1930 and brought his Hard Way of making delicious fried chicken to the world.

 

KFC’s world-famous Zinger chicken sandwich will take flight aboard the longest controlled stratospheric balloon flight with a commercial payload in history. It will also be the first-ever multi-day mission of the World View Stratollite flight system.

 

“Folks who are coming along for the ride and are going to be watching it, they’re actually going to be seeing real aerospace engineering and, to some degree, spaceflight history in the making,” World View CEO Jane Poynter said.

 

Unlike other high-altitude balloons, Stratollites can execute an array of flight profiles—from circling the Earth to holding position over a specific location—and maintain a position over a desired area for days, weeks, and even months.

 

Nothing against rockets, but the Zinger launch will show the world there’s more than one way to get payloads to and from space. And what cargo is as precious as a hand-breaded, 100% chicken breast filet, served with crisp lettuce and the Colonel’s mayo on a toasted sesame-seed bun?

 

“We’re excited to be the ones pushing spicy, crispy chicken sandwich space travel forward,” said Kevin Hochman, KFC U.S. president. “But in all seriousness, we’re proud to support World View’s commitment to advancing space research and trust them to take our world-famous Zinger sandwich to space.”

 

Lifting the world’s most famous fried chicken sandwich into the stratosphere is a crowning feat in itself, but Stratollites have enormous as-yet unrealized potential. They could serve as stationary Wi-Fi hubs in remote or undeveloped areas that may not have existing internet access, or they could help monitor ongoing crisis situations from previously inaccessible vantage points. Future flights could be used for disaster preparedness and response—from weather predictions to monitoring disaster events to helping first responders with communications and surveying capabilities.

 

“The Stratollite was created to deliver meaningful access to space for all,” said Taber MacCallum, World View cofounder and chief technology officer. “This mission offers edge-of-space access to KFC, allowing them to embark upon a one-of-a-kind marketing experiment, while we get to pursue our maiden multi-day Stratollite shakedown cruise and open unprecedented access to the stratosphere. It’s a double win.”

 

We completely agree.

 

It’s one spicy, crispy fried chicken sandwich for all. One giant leap for fried chickenkind.

Introducing KFC’s Zinger: The World-Famous Chicken Sandwich

With not even a sliver of exaggeration, I pronounce my Zinger chicken sandwich to be world famous. How could it not be? For years the Zinger has been celebrated all over the world, from India to France to other countries that won’t fit here in this small space. My freshly prepared chicken filet is double hand-breaded; fried to a golden-brown color; and served with lettuce and mayonnaise on a toasted bun. Delicious! And now it’s finally here in America! Wait a second. That’s where you are, isn’t it?

 

The world-famous Zinger is already on KFC menus in more than 120 countries. In fact, more Zingers are sold in the UK, India, and Australia than anywhere else in the world. And, boy, the Aussies are stoked about the KFC Zinger—to the tune of more than 22 million Zingers each year. That’s almost one spicy chicken sandwich for every person Down Under! Pretty amazing for a sandwich whose original version debuted at KFCs in Trinidad and Tobago in 1984.

 

Did we mention the Zinger is double-breaded by hand, freshly prepared, in-house? Not space-breaded on some faraway chicken planet or mind-breaded with some weird chicken telekinesis or robot-breaded on some assembly-line conveyor belt. Or any other cockamamie way a piece of chicken might be breaded.

 

No shortcuts, people. We’re not your run-of-the-mill “burger boys.” We’re obsessed with superior fried chicken. It’s why we can offer the ultimate fried chicken sandwich. It’s also why we took our time perfecting the Zinger before bringing it to America. We spent two years retraining our employees and upgrading our equipment in preparation for launching the Zinger in the Land of the Free on April 24.

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Like all chicken at KFC, the Zinger sandwich stands out because we make it the Hard Way. Maybe we forgot to mention that every Zinger is freshly prepared, in-house, double-breaded by hand by trained cooks in every KFC kitchen. I guess we did say that already, but it’s a point worth driving home. And it’s why we’re sure you’ll go wild for the new spicy, crispy Zinger sandwich.

 

We believe in superior fried chicken, and that includes fried chicken sandwiches too.

 

For all Americans. For all humanity.

KFC Commits to Chicken without Antibiotics

Howdy, folks. At KFC, we want our food to reflect the values Colonel Sanders instilled in the first restaurant he opened 87 years ago: making quality fried chicken the Hard Way. In service to upholding this promise, we’ve vowed to only source chicken that is raised without antibiotics important to human medicine. Read more here to learn how we’re making this happen.

 

For Your Bucket List Consideration: A Passport to KFC Specialties Around the Globe

KFC menus in different countries offer a lot more than fried chicken. Like rice bowls in India and Singapore. Or the Chizza, a fried chicken pizza. Or the Colonel’s Christmas Burger. Or the Zinger sandwich. Rice bowls? Chicken pizza? What is going on in these countries? Delicious food, that’s what. Read more about it below.

 

From humble beginnings, Harland Sanders’ Original Recipe® fried chicken has become world famous. What started as one man selling fried chicken from a service station in Kentucky has grown into a global franchise with tens of thousands of restaurants. And perhaps much to the Colonel’s surprise, his face has become one of the most recognizable in the world.

 

One-quarter of KFC restaurants are located in the Unites States. The other 75% are located across the globe in over 100 countries and territories. Surely, this worldwide popularity must mean KFC restaurants have a formula: a tried-and-true menu consisting of only KFC classics.

 

But just as KFC expanded outside the United States, KFC’s menu expanded beyond the American version of fried chicken. KFC menus around the globe feature items unknown in the United States, as well as meals to meet the dietary restrictions and preferences of restaurant-goers in specific locales.

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In countries as far flung as Australia, the UAE, and Canada, KFC customers can order soft-serve ice cream and enjoy blended, icy smoothie drinks called Krushers (flavors include Strawberry Lush, Kookies N Cream, and Chocopeanut Bolt). The KFC rice bowl is a staple on the KFC menu in India and Singapore, which features curry rice and spicy sambal.

 

In Japan, KFC is the place to be at Christmas. Although it’s not a national holiday there, many Japanese have adopted the custom of eating a Christmas chicken dinner, complete with cake and champagne. Anticipation of KFC’s Christmas menu is so great that preorders are taken in October, with the many who didn’t order ahead queuing up outside KFC restaurants on Christmas Eve.

 

KFC’s menu in the Middle East and North Africa is 100% halal, and KFC has tested sales of halal meat in many more outlets around the globe. In Israel, KFC replaced its milk-powder chicken coating with an identical kosher soy-powder coating, making all KFC restaurants in Israel kosher.

 

Special to the Philippines, the limited-time KFC Double Down Dog sandwich featured a hot dog covered in cheese and fitted into a bun-size piece of fried chicken. Now available in Singapore is the Chizza, a pizza with a fried chicken crust topped with tomato sauce, cheese, pepperoni, pineapple, and green peppers.

 

In the United Kingdom and Ireland, the newly-introduced-for-2016 Colonel’s Christmas Burger has an Original Recipe chicken breast, crispy hash brown, cheese, lettuce, cranberry sauce, and sage and onion stuffing mayonnaise on a sesame-seed bun.

 

One very popular item on KFC menus worldwide is the famous Zinger sandwich (aka the Zinger burger in a handful of countries). This spicy chicken sandwich has garnered a huge following all around the world. It’s never been available nationally in the United States, but the wait may soon be over—as the Zinger is being tested in the States! Americans may soon be able to experience the delicious sandwich and see for themselves what the hype is all about.

KFC Joins the Rush for Georgia Gold Flavor

We’ve struck gold, folks. Not the precious metal, but a new precious recipe called Georgia Gold: a delicious honey mustard BBQ sauce that goes perfect on our famous fried chicken. This sweet and tangy triumph will be available soon at a KFC near you as tenders, bone-in chicken, or Chicken Littles®. And that’s what gold rush prospectors would call a bonanza.

 

Little-known fact: The second gold rush in the entire US of A occurred in Georgia in the late 1820s, more than a decade before the great California Gold Rush. Georgia is historically known for another type of gold: a golden, honey mustard–based BBQ tradition that’s as delicious as it is specific to the Peach State.

00_highlight_sentence_georgiagold_40kIt’s so tasty and unique that KFC created its own take on the regional specialty: Georgia Gold Chicken, available in tenders, bone-in chicken, Chicken Littles®, and wings, with a sweet and tangy honey mustard sauce. This is KFC’s second new flavor after Nashville Hot Chicken—a hard act to follow—and it’s really pulling its weight.

 

Although the details of the Georgia Gold Rush are a bit unclear, it’s believed that by the 1830s most of the state’s gold had been mined and there was little left to discover. Fortunately, there’ll be no shortage of KFC’s Georgia Gold Chicken, but the rush to stake your claim on this bold, golden new flavor begins January 30. So get you and your gold pan over to a local KFC restaurant then to enjoy this little piece of Georgia. No mining required!

A Spicy, Smoky Sound Inspired by a Spicy, Smoky Taste

At long last, the thing you have been pining for is here. In keeping with Colonel tradition, a new limited-edition lathe-cut record.

 

KFC’s beloved Nashville Hot Chicken is back! And to commemorate its glorious return, we decided to cut an album, naturally.

 

But really, this isn’t as weird as it seems. One of Colonel Sanders’ many passions—alongside making chicken, selling chicken, and dressing in his Sunday best—was producing albums. In fact, the Colonel made six records in his lifetime, including Christmas Eve with Colonel Sanders, Christmas Day with Colonel Sanders, and, of course, Colonel Sanders’ Tijuana Picnic. So to honor the Colonel’s love of vinyl and celebrate Nashville Hot Chicken, we made a beautiful EP inspired by Nashville Hot’s signature spicy, smoky flavor.

Nashville Hot’s Signature Spicy, Smoky Flavor Inspired Record

KFC teamed up with Saturday Night Live alum and professional cool person Fred Armisen, who wrote and performed the album’s two tracks. “C-O-L-O-N-E-L” is the smoky track, inspired by Nashville Hot’s smoked paprika taste. And the dance-y “Nashville-Centric Boogie” represents Nashville Hot’s spicy cayenne kick.

 

The “spicy/smoky” theme extends to the album art, as well, created by esteemed artist Church of Type. In addition to sharing the Colonel’s birthplace of Corbin, Kentucky, Church of Type also likes doing things the Hard Way—the album’s art was created through authentic letterpressing, a process in which each letter and graphic is hand-carved and compiled to create the full design. So this album was lovingly hand-prepared, just like KFC chicken.

 

The KFC Nashville Hot album drops, as the kids say, on December 12, in a super-limited release. Find record store locations and listen here. Get it and Nashville Hot Chicken while they’re hot!

Our Chicken Is Finger Lickin’ Fresh

Fresh chicken makes the best fried chicken, so that’s what we use. A few of the steps to ensure the highest quality fresh chicken include having it delivered from US farms, and always inspecting each individual piece. You can read more about how we ensure freshness below.

 

In our efforts to convince folks that KFC doesn’t use mutant chickens, that we work hard to ensure our chicken-making process upholds the Colonel’s original standards, and that our chicken is free of added hormones or steroids (in accordance with federal regulations), it would be easy to assume that everyone knows our world-famous fried chicken on the bone is also fresh. But we don’t want to overlook any of your chicken-eatin’ questions! You see, we like to do things the Hard Way, which applies to everything—from debunking KFC myths to wearing white woolen suits no matter the temperature.Our Restaurants Receive Two to Three Deliveries of Fresh Chicken on the Bone Per WeekHow fresh is KFC chicken, you ask? This fresh:

  • Our restaurants receive two to three deliveries of fresh chicken on the bone per week – no more than 5% frozen annually if needed for emergency supply availability.
  • Our chicken comes from US farms and has to pass over 30 quality checks and USDA inspection before being delivered to our restaurants.
  • Every day, our cooks inspect each individual piece of chicken before following an extensive, multistep process that includes hand-breading it in the Colonel’s secret blend of 11 herbs and spices and pressure cooking it at a low temperature to create chicken that is crispy on the outside and juicy on the inside.

 

Making the Colonel’s chicken requires working with the best ingredients, and fresh chicken is the foundation of that process. So yes, KFC is as fresh as it is finger lickin’ good.

 

Attack of the KFC Spider Chicken Myth

There is a wild myth that KFC uses “spider chickens”—chickens that have been genetically modified to have 8 legs and 6 wings. I can’t believe I have to say this, but here we are, Americans: spider chickens are not real. Furthermore, KFC never uses GMO chickens of any kind. You can read more crazy stuff about spider chickens below.

 

Of all the wacky Internet myths that have circulated about KFC, this one was outlandish enough to be almost entertaining.

 

You might want to sit down for this.

 

A handful of companies spread the disinformation that KFC used genetically modified (GMO) chickens that had eight legs and six wings, a Frankenstein-ed monster of a chicken that would give us maximum output and more bang for the cluck. There was not an ounce of truth to this. This imaginary KFC GMO creature was referred to as a “spider chicken,” due to its arachnoid surplus of legs. The modern art of graphic design made it possible for those spreading the rumor to create an image of what this bird might look like, an image that would give the surrealist painters a run for their money.

 

We source 100% real chicken of the absolutely non-genetically engineered variety

 

We might have had a good chuckle over all this, except for the fact that it gave some of our customers pause and made them wonder what the truth was. Our job is to provide a delicious and high-quality product, and that means KFC sources 100% real chicken—of the absolutely non-GMO variety—from trusted US farms. The same as you would buy from your grocery store. Then, using the Colonel’s time-honored recipe, we fry it up and serve it fresh in our restaurants.

 

We take our job of making the world’s best fried chicken very seriously. So seriously that this case went to court, where the rumors were thoroughly debunked and shown to be as false as they were silly. As with all chicken sold in the US, KFC chickens are bred using age-old breeding techniques to produce healthy chickens and the high-quality products our customers expect. Eight-legged chickens are the stuff of nightmares and sci-fi movies, not our delicious home-style meals.

 

 

The Colonel’s Secret Blend of 11 Herbs and Spices

One of the biggest trade secrets in the world is my 11 herbs & spices for my Original Recipe chicken. There is simply no way I am going to let it fall into the hands of my lazy imitators, so I have taken a lot of intense precautions to ensure it never does. You can read the specifics of how you will never be able to steal it below.  

 

What is it about KFC Original Recipe chicken that makes you lick your fingers, smack your lips, and reach for the next piece? Well, it’s the crisp skin and juicy meat in every bite created by the once-patented pressure-frying process, as well as the Colonel’s secret blend of 11 herbs and spices.

 

Colonel Sanders’ Original Recipe® is a cornerstone of Kentucky Fried Chicken, and it ranks among America’s most valuable trade secrets. It’s so valuable that KFC recently built a brand-new, high-tech home for the Colonel’s handwritten Original Recipe from 1940. It’s stored in a digital safe that weighs more than 770 pounds and is encased in two feet of concrete with a 24-hour video and motion-detection surveillance system.

 

Not even the company that produces the blend knows the exact formulation.

 

And the secret blend of KFC’s 11 herbs and spices is so secret that not even the company that produces the blend knows the exact formulation. The spice blend is shipped from different locations in the United States before the final blending. We’ve got to keep it a secret from those imitators creating KFC copycat recipes that just don’t come close to the real deal.

 

Now, that’s not the easy way to season your chicken. In fact, it’s the Hard Way. But we believe in hard work, attention to detail, and going the extra mile.

KFC Chickens Are Free of Artificial Hormones and Steroids

You don’t need to be a Colonel to know that making great fried chicken starts with great chickens. And I’m very particular about our chickens, ensuring they don’t get treated with artificial hormones or steroids. You can read more about it below.

 

There’s a common misconception that chicken restaurants like KFC are trying to raise larger chickens to make more profit. This notion surely fed into the Great KFC Mutant Chicken Myth—the Internet hoax that claimed that KFC used “mutant chickens”—as well as false claims that KFC bulks up chickens with added hormones and steroids. This couldn’t be further from the truth since KFC actually pays a premium price per pound for smaller chickens than you’ll find in your local grocery store because we believe they are far more tender and flavorful. Furthermore, FDA regulations prohibit adding hormones and steroids to all poultry in the United States, and KFC chickens are USDA inspected for quality before they’re delivered to our kitchens.

KFC Does not use artificial hormones

So the answer to the question, “Does KFC use artificial hormones or steroids?” is a resounding no! At Kentucky Fried Chicken you won’t find any artificial steroids or hormones in our chicken. In fact, less than 10% of chickens meet the high standards for KFC poultry. Our chickens are raised humanely on US farms overseen by respected and established poultry producers like Tyson Foods, Inc. In addition, our chickens must pass 30 KFC quality checks between US farms and your dinner table.

 

Unlike with chicken buckets and American flags, bigger doesn’t always equal better, which is why you can rest assured that KFC serves 100% real chicken, free of added hormones and steroids—Colonel Quality Guaranteed.