KFC fined £1m over Teesside workers' gravy burns
Fast food chain KFC has been fined almost £1m after two employees suffered burns while handling hot gravy without gloves.
A 16-year-old boy and a woman were hurt in separate accidents at restaurants in Stockton in 2014 and 2015, Teesside Magistrates' Court heard.
The chain was ordered to pay £950,000 in fines and £18,700 in costs after admitting health and safety breaches.
KFC Limited said it invested £7.5m in health and safety measures every year.
The teenager suffered serious burns at the Teesside Park restaurant on 14 July 2014 and the woman was hurt at the Wellington Square in Stockton on 1 December 2015.
The court heard how environmental health officers visited the Wellington Square branch two days after the woman was hurt and found staff could not find any protective gloves.
They also concluded that health procedures were not being followed.
KFC admitted such accidents were rare, but staff failed to follow procedures.
Chief operating officer Rob Swain said: "The safety of our team members is hugely important to us, so we were shocked by what happened.
"We have robust processes and procedures in place, but on these occasions, they were not followed and we have accepted the prosecution."
The prosecution was brought by Stockton Borough Council.
Councillor Steve Nelson, cabinet for community safety, said: "This is a huge fine that sends out a very clear message that all food business operators have a duty to ensure the health and safety of their employees and provide them with suitable training."