KFC chicken crisis 'caused by Rugby depot chaos'

Image source, Richard Sweetman
Image caption,
Lorries have been seen queuing outside the new DHL KFC distribution site in Rugby

The KFC crisis is being caused by chaos at a delivery depot where chicken is going to waste, it is claimed.

Drivers have been left waiting for hours because of problems getting into the firm's new delivery site in Rugby.

The council said the site was used to store chicken before being registered to do so, but KFC's delivery contractor DHL had since registered.

KFC said it is doing all it can to "avoid" food wastage and DHL said it was working to tackle the problem.

More than 250 outlets are still shut because of supply problems, which started when it switched its delivery contract to DHL.

One lorry driver said he lost a full load of chicken because of the depot issues.

Tony, who did not want to give his full name, had a delivery of chicken scrapped, because his lorry's temperature was set wrongly at the depot in Rugby Gateway Industrial Park, which only handles distribution for KFC.

On another occasion this week, he said he was left waiting at the depot for seven hours for his load and blames a lack of training.

He said: "Can you imagine how much food was on that trailer?

Image source, Richard Sweetman
Image caption,
Other businesses say they have health and safety concerns over the queuing lorries

A former DHL worker, who did not wish to be named, said friends still working for the firm claim the depot is understaffed.

He said lorry-loads of chicken were left to go off earlier this week, because there were not enough people to put it away.

He added: "Everybody knew it wasn't ready. It is going to take at least a week before it is all sorted out."

The site is still recruiting drivers and managers and earlier, people were also arriving for interviews.

Image source, Richard Sweetman
Image caption,
Hundreds of restaurants are closed across the UK because of the supply problems

Richard Sweetman, who works nearby, said: "For two weeks it's been absolute chaos.

"I wonder about the level of organisation and planning that went into the project."

Rugby Borough Council confirmed the depot had been used to store chicken before it had been registered to do so and that environmental officers visited the centre on Tuesday.

A spokesman said what DHL was doing from a food hygiene point of view was "absolutely fine" and added that after the visit, the company submitted the registration documents and the depot is now registered.

John Boulter, managing director for retail DHL supply chain, apologised and said it is still working on the cause of the problem.

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KFC said it is doing everything it can to "avoid wastage" while "teams continue to work flat out all hours to clear the backlog caused by the breakdown in the DHL distribution system."

It has set up a web page listing outlets that are open.