South African KFC employees who were caught washing chicken on the ground outside the fast-food restaurant in a Johannesburg suburb last week were trying to hide breaded chicken that was meant to be discarded. After pictures and a video surfaced on social media showing the workers hosing down raw chicken on the concrete floor, the KFC franchise in Braamfontein closed up shop while officials investigated the incident.

“Like you, we were really shocked to see the pictures posted from KFC Braamfontein, and at first couldn't believe what we were seeing,” KFC said in a statement Friday on Facebook. “We immediately closed the store while we investigated and were extremely relieved to find out that this was discarded chicken, never intended to be sold.”




The chicken in the pictures did not meet quality standards and was set aside for disposal. The KFC franchise requires employees to discard chicken before breading it to avoid waste. The employees in Braamfontein attempted to hide the breading waste from managers by hosing down the discarded poultry.

“The Braamfontein store had set it aside for disposal. This is a good thing, but the way in which they handled the product to be disposed of definitely did not follow our procedures,” KFC said in the statement. “The team had some waste that they had discarded with breading on it and they were washing it off to hide it from management.”

A video of the incident went viral and sparked a social media reaction harshly critical of the popular fast-food joint. It’s unclear how management and the workers involved were punished for the incident, but KFC said: “We have already dealt very firmly with the owner and responsible people involved.”