The myth that the restaurant chain formerly known as Kentucky Fried Chicken changed its name because they can’t legally call their food “chicken” has been floating around for years, but Snopes is here to shut that shit down. It’s official: KFC is not serving you creepy mutant chickens in large colorful tubs.
In a post last updated in mid-February, the fact-checking website debunked the urban legend, which dates back to at least 1999. The piece, which contains a mutant chicken picture that you can’t unsee, details the history of this rumor, which they’ve now relegated to the trash pile alongside Taco Bell’s roach tacos, Burger King’s ball-pit snakes, and In-N-Out’s broken glass-filled milkshakes (we made that last one up.) On the flip side, it’s 100 percent true that Springfield Elementary serves rat milk. Snopes also helpfully links to a post on KFC’s own Chicken Chattin’ blog:
As with all chicken sold in the United States, KFC chickens are bred using age-old techniques to produce healthy birds and the high-quality products that our customers expect. They’re also raised humanely in a cage-free environment on trusted American family farms—the same that supply your local supermarket—based on standards established in consultation with our Animal Welfare Advisory Council. In addition, KFC chicken farms must adhere to parent company Yum! Brands’ Supplier Code of Conduct, which helps maintain the ethical sourcing and supply of our food.
So let’s put the Great KFC Mutant Chicken Myth to rest, shall we? Though urban legends about mutated KFC meat are good for a laugh, on a KFC chicken farm, the chicken is 100% real—just like the Colonel’s time-honored secret recipe.
Chicken Chattin’ is a veritable treasure trove of such posts, including entries dismissing rumors about maggots, fried rats, and other such absurd publicity nightmares. Whatever beleaguered PR person wrote these entries deserves a raise, because they are a veritable treasure trove of frustration-forged puns. We at The Takeout are partial to “KFC maggots rumor has no legs,” but you can choose your own favorite.
As yet, neither Snopes nor Chicken Chattin’ has debunked the rumor that Reba McEntire, Jim Gaffigan, Rob Lowe, and Rob Riggle are all the same person. We wait with bated breath.