Lifestyle & Belief

KFC in Fiji quarantine dispute

The future of KFC in Fiji is in doubt, after its famous herbs and spices mix was quarantined by customs.

According to AAP, Fijians are having to go without fried chicken with the nation's three KFC restaurants forced to close when the breadcrumb mix ran out.

KFC says that since October 2010, the Fiji Quarantine and Inspection Division has not allowed the fast food giant to bring in its most needed ingredients, a milk and egg mix and breading salt.

In a media statement issued by the company, KFC said that since October last year, the Fiji Quarantine and Inspection Division has continuously stopped the importation of vital ingredients.

"The missing ingredients led to a decline in product quality, coupled with rising food costs, contributed to decreasing sales," the media release read.

But Biosecurity Authority chief executive Elvis Silvestrini said KFC has failed to provide the relevant veterinary certificate to clear the mixture at customs.

He said the delay was only temporary and that he believed tough economic conditions had led to the closures, but the company had chosen to blame the quarantine service instead.

"KFC are a global fast-food chain with a very slick public relations machine, but at a local level I think their message is becoming a little confused," Silvestrini said.

"The local general manager stated himself, he has attributed the decision to suspend Fiji operations because of rising costs and deteriorating sales."

The closure of KFC in Fiji will affect the livelihood of 80 part-time and full-time staff, local media reports.

KFC first opened in Fiji 10 years ago.

There are more than 15,000 KFC restaurants in 109 countries and territories around the world.