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.

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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 MAGGOTS RUMOR HAS NO LEGS

In this wacky, media-saturated world, the wildest rumors and myths have a funny way of taking advantage of our fears, hatching, and taking flight. One of the latest items to swarm its way onto the Internet is a video of maggots and fly eggs infesting a KFC meal. I want to swat down these nasty rumors of maggot-infested KFC chicken and make sure I don’t leave any wiggle room. Amazing I have to say this, but KFC chicken doesn’t contain maggots or fly eggs. That’s not the kind of grub we’re interested in at all. 

 

You recently might have heard the buzz regarding a video posted on a local Arkansas police department’s Facebook page of a KFC meal containing fly eggs, which the next day supposedly turned into maggot-infested chicken.

 

Not pretty.

 

Also, it’s just not possible.

 

See, KFC follows strict food-safety and handling procedures and works closely with local and state health departments to ensure the safety of our food and health of our guests and to make sure any uninvited pests don’t show up.
In fact, immediately after KFC learned about the allegation, the health department conducted thorough investigations at the restaurant and found no evidence of temperature issues, pest issues, spoiled food, or any other issues of concern. And only a few days before this all went down, the health department had already made its regular inspection at the restaurant and found no problems.

 

And how’s this for science? Each piece of our bone-in chicken is inspected and hand-breaded in our kitchens by expertly trained cooks before being cooked to a temperature of 165°F or higher and hot-held at a temperature above 140°F. Those little guys couldn’t take it, even if they tried.

Contamination did not occur while the food was still inside the KFC restaurant

Because of the strict procedures followed by KFC and its parent company, Yum! Brands, KFC can confidently say that the contamination did not occur while the food was still inside the restaurant. All of our chicken is freshly delivered to each restaurant two to three times per week under sealed and KFC-approved temperature-monitor-controlled conditions. The team also conducts a food-safety checklist three times a day that includes looking at the temperature of the chicken and the time of its preparation. This is before cooking, and there are further procedures after the chicken is cooked. Each step of the way, KFC managers and cooks ensure that our chicken is up to the standards of Colonel Sanders himself.

 

After all, it all comes down to 100% real chicken made the Hard Way. When you enjoy KFC chicken, we guarantee that you’re getting delicious, crispy, flavorful, and juicy chicken and nothing else—every time. So next time you hear a tale about fly eggs in KFC chicken or maggots in KFC chicken, just tell ’em to buzz off.

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.

 

Colonel Sanders: Real American Icon

Colonel Sanders was a real living person who invented KFC. The real Colonel was larger than life, and has recently been played by several super-famous actors, which is why it can be hard to believe he existed. Well you better believe it pal, because he existed and he was awesome. Read all about his adventures below.

 

During his tenure as KFC proprietor and founder, and world’s greatest chicken salesman, Colonel Sanders was a regular household name, appearing in commercials, recording albums with his mandolin band, and generally being a national treasure. But in the years following his death in 1980, younger folks only saw the Colonel’s illustrated face on KFC buckets and restaurants. To a newer generation of fried chicken lovers, the Colonel was considered a mascot and a symbol of KFC, and not a real person who actually wore a white woolen suit and string tie every day. Today, when you start typing “is Colonel” into a Google search bar, “is Colonel Sanders real?” is the second suggested phrase that pops up, right after “is Colonel Sanders related to Bernie Sanders?” (The answer to that one is no.) Considering the extraordinary life Colonel Sanders lived, it’s no surprise that his persona could take on a mythical, fairy-tale quality. But like our chicken, Colonel Sanders was 100% real and 100% awesome.

Like our chicken, Colonel Sanders was 100% real and 100% awesome.

Here are the details of his amazing life:

  • Colonel Harland David Sanders was born September 9, 1890, in Henryville, Indiana.
  • He quit school in the sixth grade to earn money for his mother, brother, and sister after his father died.
  • In 1906, at 16 years old, he lied about his age so he could enlist in the army.
  • He started working for the railways in 1907, first as a blacksmith and then as a fireman.
  • From 1920 to 1930, Sanders started a ferryboat company, worked as an insurance salesman, a lighting salesman, a lawyer, a tire salesman, an obstetrician, and a secretary at the Chamber of Commerce in Indiana.
  • In 1930, he opened a service station and added fried chicken to the menu.
  • Governor Ruby Laffoon loved Sanders’ chicken so much that he made Sanders a Kentucky Colonel.
  • The Colonel didn’t begin franchising his restaurant until 1955, when he was 65 years old.
  • After selling the franchise in 1964, Colonel Sanders remained the company’s symbol. He visited KFC restaurants into his later years, inspecting the quality of the food and sometimes tossing gravy on the floor if it didn’t meet his high standards.
  • Sanders was diagnosed with acute leukemia in June 1980 and died of pneumonia in Louisville, Kentucky, on December 16, 1980 at the age of 90.
  • The Colonel remained active until the month before his death, appearing before crowds in his signature white woolen suit and string tie, which he was also buried in. His body was laid in state in the rotunda of the Kentucky State Capitol in Frankfort. More than 1,000 people attended the beloved Colonel’s funeral.

 

Whew. So, was Colonel Sanders real? You bet. As you can see, his life was too unusual and fascinating to be fiction. The Colonel was a real, self-made man whose success symbolizes the promise of the American Dream. Though no longer with us, the Colonel’s very real spirit lives on in anyone who values hard work, grit, self-determination, and delicious fried chicken made the Hard Way.

 

Colonel Harland Sanders when he was a baby
Colonel Harland Sanders when he was a baby.

 

Harland Sanders when he was young
Harland Sanders when he was young.

 

Colonel Sanders working for Southern Railroad
Colonel Sanders working for Southern Railroad.

 

Colonel Sanders visiting a Kentucky horse farm
Colonel Sanders visiting a Kentucky horse farm.

 

Colonel Sanders inspecting new KFC restaurant
Colonel Sanders inspecting a new KFC restaurant.

 

Colonel Harland Sanders celebrating his birthday
Colonel Harland Sanders celebrating his birthday.

 

Colonel Sanders celebrating his birthday in Corbin Kentucky
Colonel Sanders celebrating his birthday in Corbin Kentucky.

 

Colonel Harland Sanders visit to Cairo
Colonel Harland Sanders visits Cairo.

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 KFC Rat Hoax Debunked

A social post supposedly depicting a fried rat being served to a KFC customer made the rounds a little while back. It should surprise no one to hear that was entirely made up and untrue. I know, I know, something fake on the Internet—stop the presses. You can read more about how it never really happened below.

 

You don’t build a legacy like KFC has over 75 years without having some outlandish rumors created about you. Just ask Walt Disney’s cryogenically frozen head! KFC has endured a few similarly absurd myths, including the Great KFC Mutant Chicken Myth and claims that KFC chickens have added hormones and steroids to make them bigger. Then there was the 2015 KFC fried rat hoax, in which a customer posted an image on Facebook of KFC chicken supposedly in the shape of a rat, implying that KFC had served him a deep-fried rat instead of a chicken tender. Approximately 22,000 people shared this image. This was followed by a video post that 9,000 people shared on their Facebook walls, garnering over 1 million views. Even reputable news sources throughout the world picked up the story! Because if it’s on the Internet, it must be true, right?

 

Of course this claim is false and just plain nonsense. We’re dedicated to quality and preparing chicken the Hard Way, which is Colonel Sanders’ time-honored approach to making delicious chicken. First, we source our chickens from American farms. Then our chickens are inspected by the USDA and must pass 30 quality checks before they can even be delivered to our kitchens. In fact, KFC and its parent company, Yum! Brands, maintain industry-leading food safety programs, striving to have the safest, highest-quality food supply and preparation in the business. Finally, our cooks freshly prepare fried chicken every day, in restaurant, following an extensive multistep process, which includes hand-breading each individual piece.

We always serve 100% real chicken made the Hard Way.

Ultimately, like other rumors that preceded it, the KFC fried-rat story was roundly debunked. We even handed the alleged fried rat over to an independent lab for testing, which confirmed that it was, indeed, 100% KFC chicken tender, and not a fried rat. This was no surprise to us—we always serve 100% real chicken made the Hard Way. So when you order KFC chicken, we guarantee that you’re getting delicious, crispy, flavorful, and juicy chicken—and nothing else.

KFC says “Chicken, Chicken, Chicken.” The real history of the KFC name change.

Modern myths are weird. One of them says that we changed our name to KFC because we couldn’t use the word “chicken” anymore. Absurd. Chicken, chicken, chicken. See? We are still called Kentucky Fried Chicken; we started using KFC ’cause it was fewer syllables. Continue reading below to have this myth further dispelled.

 

In 1991, Kentucky Fried Chicken decided on a name change to KFC. Why, after 39 successful years, would a world-famous restaurant chain change its name?

 

Maybe because KFC is just easier to say with your mouth full. Or maybe KFC fits better on signs. In reality, we wanted to let our customers know that we had more for them to enjoy than just fried chicken, and many were already calling us KFC, as it was much easier to say.

 

Truth is, we didn’t do a great job at explaining the KFC name change, which left the door open for folks to get creative with the reason. And boy did they! Shortly after the name change, an email chain letter—it was 1991, remember—began to spread the rumor that Kentucky Fried Chicken used genetically modified chickens and was forced to remove the word “chicken” from its name.

We've always used 100% real chicken

We can put those rumors to rest. We’ve always used 100% real chicken. Our chickens come from American family farms—the same farms that supply the brands you would buy at any grocery store—and are raised without artificial hormones or steroids, which is a federal regulation.

 

So let’s get straight to the point: Can KFC say “chicken”? We’re still Kentucky Fried Chicken®, registered trademark and all. We continue to show our pride in fried and follow the Colonel’s high standards for frying chicken, even after 75 years. Not only can KFC definitely say “chicken,” KFC means the world’s best fried chicken.

 

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.

THE ANSWER TO THE QUESTION, “DOES KFC USE ARTIFICIAL HORMONES?’ IS A RESOUNDING NO!

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.

The Great KFC Mutant Chicken Myth

Nothing makes me madder than a bunch of unfounded rumors about where KFC chickens come from. So… short answer: all KFC chickens are born and raised right here in the USA. Long answer: read below.

 

The Internet is good for lots of things: cat videos, questionable medical diagnoses, and wildly imaginative urban legends, including the KFC mutant chicken myth. This myth has been perpetuated over several decades by a widely circulated email hoax. The hoax claimed that Kentucky Fried Chicken changed its name to KFC because it was forced to eliminate the word “chicken” from its brand name—purportedly because KFC meat came from “mutant chickens” with extra legs and no beaks.

 

We can set the record straight: no mutated or genetically engineered chickens are involved in making our delicious KFC chicken. Just 100% real chicken from US farms, which have to pass over 30 quality checks and USDA inspection before being hand-prepared by one of our cooks. Ultimately, less than 10% of chickens meet KFC’s high standards for quality, which includes no artificial hormones or steroids—a federal regulation.

No mutated chickens are involved in making our delicious fried chicken

As with all chicken sold in the United States, KFC chickens are bred using age-old techniques to produce healthy birds and the high-quality products that our customers expect. They’re also raised humanely in a cage-free environment on trusted American family farms—the same that supply your local supermarket—based on standards established in consultation with our Animal Welfare Advisory Council. In addition, KFC chicken farms must adhere to parent company Yum! Brands’ Supplier Code of Conduct, which helps maintain the ethical sourcing and supply of our food.

 

So let’s put the Great KFC Mutant Chicken Myth to rest, shall we? Though urban legends about mutated KFC meat are good for a laugh, on a KFC chicken farm, the chicken is 100% real—just like the Colonel’s time-honored secret recipe.