The Kentucky Fried Chicken the world’s largest chicken-based fast food chain and part of the $28 million pepsico group – decided to open about 100 outlets in India, the first one being in Bangalore.
The Bangalore City Corporation charged the outlet with serving chicken with levels of mono sodium glutamate (MSG) – a flavoring agent – far higher than those permitted under the Prevention of Food Adulteration Act, 1954. MSG goes under many names: ‘Ajinomoto’ and ‘Chinese powder’.
This flavoring agent stimulates the taste buds and makes them extra sensitive. Thus, the food is perceived to be tasty without actually making it tasty.
A local unit of a political party threatened to demolish outlet of KFC, claiming that it was a cultural invasion that focus unhealthy eating habits on the unsuspecting Indians. Is it a fault of KFT?
Once the government allows the entry of KFC, knowing fully well the type of business being carried on by KFC, how can you criticism it on the ground of cultural invasion?
In Delhi also, the decision to permit Pepsi Food Ltd to open a KFC outlet was criticized. This was in sequel to the action of the Bangalore City Corporation. It was alleged that the chicken sold led to several health problems.
The Indian food and Drug Administration has put down a Limit of 1 per cent for all food additives, and anything above that amounts to adulteration. It is alleged that the samples picked up from KFC contained 2 per cent of MSG. Also, it is insisted that packaged food containing MSG should declare the fact on the pack, along with the warning – “not suitable for in-facts under 12 months”.