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KFC workers are filmed 'smuggling chicken into their kitchen' as 600 out of 900 restaurants across the country close due to chicken shortage 'and may stay shut for WEEKS at cost of £1m-a-day' (12 Pics)

KFC's chicken crisis could worsen as restaurants may potentially be closed for weeks, at a cost of £1 million per day to the fast food giant.

600 of the chain's 900 UK branches were forced to close after their new delivery firm, DHL, suffered a delivery system failure.   

To make matters worse, the situation means that  zero-hour contract staff may lose pay while stores stay shut. 

One insider told the Sun: 'It's not going to get better quickly. It won't be days, it may be weeks.' 

KFC staff were earlier caught on camera appearing to smuggle food in through the backdoor of a restaurant amid the fast food chain's chicken shortage that has left two-thirds of its stores closed.

A video captured by a customer shows two men in KFC uniforms carrying crates of black bags out of a Volvo and through the backdoors of a restaurant in Erith, south London. 

Danny Mercer, who filmed the clip, claims he was told to 'f*** off' by employees when they saw him capturing the delivery on camera.
Mr Mercer says he thinks workers at the fastfood chain tried to implement a back up plan when the chicken shop was running low on supplies. 
He told Kent Live: 'I got KFC in Erith shut down because I caught them on video smuggling raw chicken into the back of the restaurant out of the back of a car in black bags and boxes and not refrigerated.

'Turns out there has been a delivery problem nationwide for all KFC restaurants.

'But I guess the manager of KFC in Erith took it into his own hands to get chicken.'

He added that the staff had brought in 'about six black bags from the boot' that were 'bulging and gloopy shaped' before he started filming, and that he will 'never eat KFC again'.
Mr Mercer said customers were 'lining up for the drive thru' when the video was taken but it branch closed later in the afternoon, and pinned a notice to its door that read: 'We deliver our chicken fresh into our restaurant but we've had a few hiccups with the delivery toady.
'We wouldn't want to open without offering our full menu but we'll be back at the fryers as soon as we can!'

It's not clear what the men are carrying in the clip, but Mr Mercer says from behind the camera 'They're smuggling chickens in their Volvo. That's health and safety down the drain isn't it mate?'

KFC told MailOnline it was investigating the issue and was aware of the video.

A spokesman added: 'We've closed several of our restaurants because we won't compromise the quality of our food, and it also goes without saying that food safety remains our top priority.

'When it comes to the safe handling and transport of food, we have strict policies in place, so we're investigating this urgently and will take any necessary steps.'

Today, the fried chicken chain released an updated list of 296 outlets that were still open.
It means that about two thirds of its near 900 stores were suffering from the shortage. 

'We're updating this as regularly as we can, and our teams are working around the cluck to get the rest back up and running as soon as possible', KFC UK & Ireland said in its latest tweet.
The closures were the result of delayed chicken deliveries by DHL, which announced in November that it had been appointed alongside QSL to manage the supply and distribution of food products and packaging for more than 850 KFC restaurants throughout the UK.

'Due to operational issues a number of deliveries in recent days have been incomplete or delayed,' DHL said in a statement.

'We are working with KFC and our partners to rectify the situation as a priority and apologise for any inconvenience this may have caused.'
KFC was previously a client of Bidvest Logistics.

The chicken chain detailed the problems in an earlier statement, which said: 'We've brought a new delivery partner onboard, but they've had a couple of teething problems - getting fresh chicken out to 900 restaurants across the country is pretty complex!'

'We won't compromise on quality, so no deliveries has meant some of our restaurants are closed and others are operating a limited menu, or shortened hours,' the company added.
'We know that this might have inconvenienced some of you over the last few days, and disappointed you when you wanted your fried chicken fix - we're really sorry about that.' 

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