by Christina Smith
The case of the missing vegetables continues to puzzle local customers of the international franchise, Kentucky Fried Chicken (KFC), with many questioning the absence of lettuce and tomatoes on sandwiches and wraps.
The issue was brought to SEARCHLIGHT’s attention in recent weeks and has also been a talking point on social media sites including Twitter and Facebook. In addition to posting photos of Zinger sandwiches without the vegetables, KFC customers have also been tagging the local franchise in Facebook Marketplace posts advertising lettuce for sale.
SEARCHLIGHT understands the issue has been plaguing KFC St Vincent from as far back as August 2022. However, notices informing customers about the vegetable absence have not been posted inside the physical stores or on social media.
A spokesperson for KFC St Vincent told SEARCHLIGHT that the previous supplier of vegetable produce is “no longer available”. The spokesperson went on to explain that the franchise is bound by health and safety guidelines, and at present no local farm meets the criteria to be a supplier.
“Large franchises like KFC require all suppliers of food to be audited for health and safety. At this time there is no farm on St Vincent that had the necessary criteria.”
As stated by the spokesperson, the products supplied to the franchise are required to undergo an audit to ensures it meets Good Agricultural Practices (GAP) criteria before they are approved to be used in KFC franchise kitchens.
“ … An audit needs to be conducted on any supplier that wishes to supply KFC with vegetables. These audits can be quite costly as they are done by a third party independent auditor.”
KFC St Vincent has outlined its plans to partner with a local farm to restore the wraps and sandwiches to their previous form. Though no timeline was stated to SEARCHLIGHT by the spokesperson, they revealed that the work is ongoing.
“We are currently working with a local farm that is undergoing the preparation for the required internationally recognized audit. This issue will be rectified as soon as we can verify that the vegetables we are putting into our restaurants meet the strict criteria and are approved by the 3rd party auditor and by the franchise.”
KFC St Vincent is not the only franchise chain affected by the missing ingredients. In July 2022, KFC Australia was forced to substitute cabbage for lettuce in their sandwiches, following a shortage caused by flooding of farms.