KFC Twister Poisons little girl

KFC Twister Food Poisoning Matter

KFC Twister Food Poisoning case

In October 2005, a little girl collapsed and was admitted to hospital after having shared a chicken ‘Twister’ wrap from KFC with other members of her family. Monika Samaan was only seven years old when she suffered organ system failure, septic shock, severe brain damage and spastic quadriplegia resulting from a salmonella infection. All members of the plaintiff’s family, except for her Grandmother, also suffered from salmonella poisoning although none so critically as Monica.

The NSW Supreme Court determined that the plaintiff had established, on the balance of probabilities, that the source of her infection was the KFC Twister.


Based on the expert evidence, the Court found that eating the cooked chicken was most likely the cause of the poisoning. The Court also found it was possible that four people could contract salmonella poisoning from sharing the quantity of chicken contained in a Twister.

The incubation period for salmonella poisoning can be anything from 6 to 72 hours with most cases occurring within 12 to 48 hours. The most common incubation period is 26 to 30 hours.

The plaintiff’s family gave evidence as to what they ate during the period leading up to their illness. Based on this, the Court determined that the Twister was the only meal common to each of member of the family who fell ill, within the incubation period.

Also, the plaintiff had to establish that her father had purchased a Twister from KFC. Despite KFC’s records being inconsistent with Mr Samaan’s alleged order, the Court nevertheless found that it was probable that he did purchase a Twister from KFC at the relevant time.

If KFC’s procedures had been followed, the survival of salmonella cells in the chicken used in the Twister was impossible. However, the Court found there was evidence of ‘aberrant behaviour’ by staff which meant that it was likely that there had been cross-contamination of the chicken pieces after cooking, by contact with flour or other dipping material used previously on the raw chicken.

The Court accordingly found that KFC, as the employer, was vicariously liable for the negligence of its staff. They awarded the plaintiff $8 million plus legal costs. KFC has indicated it will appeal.

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