News24

'Disturbing practices' at KFC

2009-08-03 14:09

Sydney - An Australian girl's family launched a multimillion-dollar lawsuit on Monday against fast food giant KFC, claiming she was left brain damaged and crippled after eating one of their snacks.

Lawyers for Monika Samaan's family told the New South Wales Supreme Court she contracted salmonella after eating a chicken twister wrap bought at a KFC branch in Sydney in 2005. KFC denies the claim.

Samaan, 11, has been confined to a wheelchair since she fell ill when she was seven years old and her family is seeking more than $10m in damages from KFC, formerly known as Kentucky Fried Chicken.

Barrister Anthony Bartley told the court that he would present evidence of "unsettling" and "disturbing" practices in KFC kitchens, including the one where Samaan's meal was prepared.

He said former KFC employees would testify that if the store was busy, chicken that had been dropped on the floor was simply picked up and served to customers.

Bartley said that other members of Samaan's family became ill after eating KFC on the day and another 10 people had reported suffering food poisoning after eating meals from the same outlet that month.

He said there was no doubt that Samaan's condition was caused by salmonella poisoning.

"And there is little or no doubt that chicken was reported by all scientists, at the time of these unhappy events occurring, as being the source of that salmonella," he said.

The case is continuing, with lawyers for KFC yet to address the court.

The company issued a statement saying: "While sympathetic for Monika, we remain firm that KFC is not responsible for Monika's illness."