Johannesburg - Fast food outlet Kentucky Fried Chicken on Tuesday denied that its decision not to allow workers in KwaZulu-Natal to bring food to work was based on religious practices.
“The basis of the story is factually incorrect,” the company said on Tuesday, in reaction to a report in The Mercury newspaper.
“Issues about staff being allowed to bring food into restaurants have nothing to do with any religious practices... but instead relates to food safety practices.”
Earlier, it was reported that Colefax Trading, which has 39 KFC outlets in the province, had come to an agreement with its business partner, Yum Restaurants, to allow workers to bring their own meals to work.
Colefax said in a letter to the United Chemical Industries, Mining, Electrical, State, Health, and Aligned Workers' Union (UCIMESHAWU) that staff would be provided with a microwave and fridge.
The changes were prompted after several workers complained to the union that they were not allowed to bring their own food to work.
Some workers were disciplined for bringing non-halaal food into halaal-certified restaurants.
KFC said: “Any implication regarding the issue was misrepresentative (sic) and incorrect. KFC has amended its polices and operations to allow staff to bring food into its restaurants in line with food safety guidelines. The company considers this matter closed.”
The Mercury reporter Bongani Hans said he stood by his story.
“The decision was based on religious practices. Halaal is a religious practice,” he said. - Sapa