Is KFC safe to eat when pregnant? (safety practices of KFC)
In this article, we will discuss the safety of eating KFC and other fast foods during pregnancy, if eating KFC is considered healthy for pregnant women, and what are the healthy options among KFC products for pregnant women.
Pregnant women should follow a healthy diet to prevent gestational diseases as well as to ensure a healthy development of the outcome. Fast foods in excess are not recommended during pregnancy.
Is KFC safe to eat when pregnant?
Yes, KFC is safe when pregnant. Fast-food restaurants are required to follow improved food safety guidelines regarding the preparation of the food and its storage, the quality of the ingredients and the training of the employees (1, 2).
According to the Company, the KFC food products are prepared daily and the ingredients are fresh. The ingredients suppliers are required to keep the high quality of their products and monitor their animals (1, 2, 3).
In this way, a controlled process is followed by the Company and the restaurants to improve the safety of the KFC products not only for consumption by pregnant women but for all consumers.
What are the safety practices of KFC?
The safety practices of KFC are the following (1, 2, 3):
- The products are cooked at high temperatures (above the minimum recommended) to improve safety
- The products are controlled regarding their shelf life
- Cooked products are kept at hot temperatures to reduce risks of microbial growth
- Proper handling of cooked and uncooked food items is done to reduce the risks of cross-contamination
- Employees are trained to perform improved hygienic practices
- Ingredients are monitored and evaluated periodically by food scientists
- A high quality of the ingredients provided by the suppliers is required
- Periodic pest control is done in the restaurants
- Audits are done periodically in the restaurants to ensure quality and safety
In addition, the Company uses the HACCP (Hazard Analysis Critical Control Points) quality control tool to identify and correct critical points and minimise the risks.
What are other practices of KFC to improve safety?
Other practices of KFC to improve food safety are the use of nonhydrogenated palm oil as a healthier alternative for their fried products, the use of fewer additives in the products and the use of ingredients with fewer pesticides (1, 3).
In addition, healthy flavourings are prioritised in the products and employees are said to use gloves and hats while handling KFC products (2).
What are the risks of consuming KFC when pregnant?
The risk of consuming KFC when pregnant is of a foodborne disease, in case of a cross-contamination or unsafe practice during food handling.
Chicken can carry pathogens, including Salmonella and Listeria monocytogenes and cause foodborne diseases when not properly handled or cooked (5).
Episodes of food outbreaks were reported in the past due to the consumption of contaminated fast-food fried chicken, especially due to poor handling and unhygienic practices (6).
However, due to the improved and controlled food safety practices followed by KFC, these risks are minimal.
Is KFC healthy to eat when pregnant?
Yes, KFC may be healthy to eat when pregnant, when consumed moderately. The consumption of fast foods more than once a week is considered an unhealthy practice and not recommended by medical specialists (4).
The consumption of unhealthy foods such as chips, processed meats, soft drinks and fast food products more than once a week is related to higher incidences of overweight and obesity of mothers and higher incidences of overweighed babies.
Babies who are born with a birthweight above 4.0 kg have higher risks of developing obesity during childhood and adolescence (4). In this way, you should eat KFC with moderation during pregnancy.
In this article, we discussed whether eating KFC is safe during pregnancy, the food safety practices followed by KFC restaurants and the KFC Company, the risks of consuming KFC during pregnancy and whether KFC is considered healthy during pregnancy.
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