by Sarah Gilbert
Aug 3rd 2009
We knew KFC wasn't health food. And we know that our modern, faceless, efficient corporate food culture leaves us vulnerable to contamination and the threat of food poisoning. But brain damage?
Yes, according to 11-year-old Australian girl Monika Samaan, whose lawyers are accusing the fast food chain
of selling her family a salmonella-contaminated chicken twister (fried chicken in pita bread), which they say subsequently caused salmonella encephalopathy and salmonella septicaemia.
Monika shared the KFC Chicken Twister with her parents and older brother in Villawood, a suburb of Sydney, in 2005. They all became ill, but then-7-year-old Monika collapsed.
She was rushed to the hospital and soon she was changed utterly from the happy, bright, active girl she was.
Now she has spastic quadriplegia and acquired profound intellectual disability and liver dysfunction, brought on, say her doctors, by a very rare form of the common salmonella.
Her lawyers are making a case that the restaurant had a history of recklessly unhygienic practices, such as dropping chicken
on the floor and then serving it to customers, and are seeking more than $10 million in damages from Yum! Brands' Australia unit, which claims it was not responsible for the salmonella poisoning.
Unfortunately for KFC, this comes in the wake of other Sydney KFC units being fined AU$73,125
for a number of breaches of food hygiene laws, including not having cleaned fryers for several months. Few customers of KFC will be impartial, it seems, in the face of really nasty kitchens