Which Is Worse To Find In Your KFC: Chicken Brain Or Kidney?

A KFC customer in the UK is fuming mad — and claims to have missed days of work due to mental distress — after he bit into his order of fried chicken only to find a bit of mystery material that appeared to be some sort of organ.

Convinced he’d stumbled upon a chicken brain in his KFC, the man took the item in question back to the restaurant, where he was offered an apology and a full refund (about $24). But that wasn’t sufficient, he says.

“I had to take days off work because I was feeling so sick and I have lost money,” he tells the Swindon Advertiser. “The company have only offered to give me the cost of the meal back and that is not acceptable.”

Upon looking into the matter further, KFC claims the organ in question wasn’t a brain but a chicken kidney:

We always try to ensure the highest standards in all of our stores. However, on this very rare occasion, the chicken was not fully trimmed prior to cooking.
We have contacted our suppliers, who have identified the item as a kidney.
While there was no health risk, we agree that this is unsightly.

In spite of this statement, the customer remains convinced his initial impression was correction. “It is clearly a chicken brain and no matter what anyone else says I know what I found,” he says.

The main is now considering legal action against the chicken chain.

For pictures of the evidence, check out the original story here.


Edit Your Comment

  1. Scurvythepirate says:

    Yea I can relate. When I was about 7 or 8 I was eating at KFC and I found a chicken kidney in my food. I have never eaten there since.

    • Larraque eats babies says:

      Are you sure it wasn’t a chicken brain?

      • Scurvythepirate says:

        Now that you put it that way, I could be the one mistaken. lol. I showed my father and he was like “Oh, it’s just a kidney.”

      • Big Mama Pain says:

        How COULD it be the brain? Chicken heads are severed before butchering, it doesn’t make any anatomical sense.

        • caradrake says:

          This is the exact reason that, to answer the headline, I would rather find a kidney. Kidneys are located in the same general area as the meat I am consuming. It being there just means that they weren’t as great as cleaning the chicken as they should have been. Finding a brain, which is located in an entirely different section of the body, suggests that something might be wrong in the plant for it to ‘contaminate’ the meat.

    • Scurvythepirate says:

      Oh and it did look all “brainy” so I know how he could be mistaken.

    • dwhole says:

      Why do so many people have fear of organ meat? It’s quite tasty. Plus, you eat hotdogs, right? I’m not saying eating organ meat should be done everyday (since they’re usually not the healthiest part), but they usually have an intense chicken/beef/pork flavor that’s hard to come by. Personally, I find it a ‘bonus’ when I get fried chicken, and there’s bit of liver/kidney/other attached. Barry needs to get over it, especially in a country where fish paste is readily available. Om nom nom!

      • MaxH42 thinks RecordStoreToughGuy got a raw deal says:

        I’m glad I’m not the only one…the kidneys, liver, and heart are my favorite parts! But the customer’s reaction might actually be explained by his living in the UK; although other organ meats are more common there, BSE (mad cow) was first identified there, and they are probably understandably paranoid about animal brain tissue being found in food.

    • MonkeyMonk says:

      I got the exact same thing in a KFC about 10 years ago while on vacation in Florida. I was told at the time it was either a chicken kidney or heart. It wasn’t too bad — KFC comped us for all our meals even though mine was the only one with the offal.

    • Big Mama Pain says:

      That’s offal bwahahaha

    • layton59 says:

      Poster Scurvy, you haven’t missed much. The rest of the chicken is their muscles. The wings, thighs, breast and drumsticks are their muscles. It helps if you say it like Charlton Heston said it in Soylent Green. “Soylent Green is people!” “Chicken parts are muscles!”

  2. aloria says:

    I understand that it’s a bit gross, but unless there is some sort of health risk from eating it, I’m not very sympathetic. I sort of take it as the package deal in eating animals that every once in a while I’m going to see some organ meat or a chicken foot or something.

    • pecan 3.14159265 says:

      Since he’s in the UK, I wondered if the authorities would take him more seriously if he thought he had bitten into a cow brain. Mad cow was (maybe still is) a problem there.

      • the_wandering_monster says:

        I believe that the most recent outbreak of CJD occurred in the US – caused Japanese consumers to panic buy, as most of their beef is imported from the States.

      • BytheSea says:

        I don’t know if mad cow is actually still a problem, but it’s still a public paranoia thing. I learned this from British friends recently.

    • chefboyardee says:

      Wholeheartedly agree. Came here to say “so what, you’re eating animal parts anyway” but you put it much more eloquently.

    • _Rand_ says:

      Being grossed out? Definitely, never eating there again? Sure, wanting a refund? Why not.

      But taking days off work and considering legal action? What the hell is wrong with you! Enough with the moneygrab bullshit.

    • goodfellow_puck says:

      Yeaaah, he needs to get over it. It’s edible, even if it’s not preferred (to him). If that freaks him out, I hope he doesn’t eat sausage of any kind…

    • freelunch says:

      no real health risk… just offended taste buds maybe…. considering how bland some of the food is in the UK, I can see how this guy might be all in a huff.

    • Conformist138 says:

      and it’s *tiny*!
      kinda gross, sure, and I’d be mentioning it to the store (cuz it’s bad for business for customers to get too many extra organs in their fried chicken), but that’s it. If they offered a refund, I’d take it, but I probably wouldn’t have asked.

      This is like the “oh, there was a grasshopper in my veggies!” Grow up people, we are not separate from nature, we’re a part of it. the 1 in a million chance of getting a chicken kidney or a frozen frog is find odds by me.

  3. iParadox{InLove} says:

    Looks like that chicken’s kidney… Was Available.

  4. rpm773 says:

    I’m not sure I could really differentiate between a chicken brain, and a kidney, liver, or gizzard.

    This guy must completely flip out upon seeing that packet of giblets stuffed into a the cavity of a roaster.

    • Griking says:

      This was my thought. Was the customer a biologist or something? How can he be so positive that it was a brain and not so other organ, especially after it’s been processed and cooked.

    • myCatCracksMeUp says:

      Fried chicken gizzard is fantastic! We used to buy them everytime we got the chance when we were driving through certain places where we knew where to get them.

      Chicken brains, kidneys, and livers, on the other hand, suck. Ok – I haven’t actually had brain before but I imagine it sucks as bad as the kidneys and livers.

  5. pecan 3.14159265 says:

    Unless this guy is a chicken farmer, a taxidermist, or a really creepy person who has an unhealthy interest in chicken anatomy, I don’t see how he can be the definitive expert on what is or is not a chicken brain or kidney.

    Clearly, he hasn’t had to eat animal livers or brains or anything else growing up. If I bit into a kidney, I’d be grossed out, but after calming down I’d realize that I grew up eating far, far weirder things (tripe and esophagus, anyone?). This guy should chill.

    • pecan 3.14159265 says:

      Ah, bah. Not “esophagus” – I meant intestine. I don’t know why I typed esophagus.

    • UCLAri: Allergy Sufferer says:

      No kidding. If he really did miss work, he’s a huge baby.

      Ever had foie gras? What do you think that is? LIVER.

      ZOMG GROOOOOSSSSS. (Actually, delicious. :-) )

  6. pop top says:

    Unless he can prove that he was actually physically sick from the consumption of the mystery organ, I don’t see why the refund wasn’t good enough in this case. Gross? Yes, if you don’t eat organs. But should you miss work over something like this? Only if you’re a gigantic baby.

  7. SonarTech52 says:

    Guess chicken brain is better than monkey brains… *rimshot*

    • gStein_*|bringing starpipe back|* says:

      Monkey Brains, though popular in Cantonese Cuisine, are not often to be found in Washington, DC

  8. FeelinFroggy says:

    Over the weekend I found a 1inch long wire in my pasta while having dinner at Carrabbas…. Glad I found it before I had the chance to scarf it down.
    Manager said it was from the screens they use in the big pots to cook pasta and that it was due to be replaced next week. LOL Thanks I guess I should come back next week or play press my luck until then?

    • PBallRaven says:

      One would hope that he gave you some sort of compensation for this…

      • FeelinFroggy says:

        Sure my dinner was free, a complimentary dessert and lots of apologies. A small price to pay compared to what they would have paid if I did end up swallowing it.

    • Billy says:

      One wouldn’t really expect a wire or other non-food item on your dinner plate.

      One might expect a kidney to show up every once in a while, though.

    • mandy_Reeves says:

      went to red lobster about 16 years ago, had tinfoil in my salad…it was from the dressing they said. We got comped…but waitress was pissed and chased us out the door saying we didn’t pay…in front of a whole bunch of people. Manager came out and gave us like 4 free meals with dessert next time we came back.

  9. outlulz says:

    I eat chicken livers, gizzards, hearts, and necks. I don’t think finding a chicken kidney would bother me.

    • aloria says:

      I’ve eaten tongue, liver, and thymus glands (sweetbreads,) so accidentally eating a little kidney wouldn’t freak me out. Actually, sweetbreads were pretty darned tasty, even if my friends were freaking out the entire time I was eating them.

  10. XianZomby says:

    Considering the crap they eat on that island over there, why is this a problem?

  11. Snarkster says:

    I once had some feathers on my KFC.

    • pecan 3.14159265 says:

      Well, at least you know you were eating fowl. Whether it was chicken or pigeon is another matter.

  12. pinecone99 says:

    It’s common to find kidneys in chicken backs. They get stuck between the ribs and are hard to clean out. Kidneys=food. Quit your bellyaching.

  13. sirwired says:

    Even if it WAS a brain… sheesh! Grow a pair! Organ meats are not poison, except for being a bit high in cholesterol.

  14. cruster says:

    Hey friend, guess what: you’re eating an animal. They have organs. If the thought of eating particular bits of an animal grosses you out, mayhap you should give up the chicken…cold turkey.

  15. razdigital says:

    Fried chicken brain is awesome!!! Its a delicacy in Asia. As for the liver and kidney when fried or cooked they taste a little rubbery but good source of nutrition.

  16. njack says:

    Is the guy looking for KFC to reimburse him for work missed? I’d laugh in his face at that request. When I was in China, I watched a guy literally eat the chicken head on purpose, beak and all. I’m sure there is no health risk involved, not that I would want to eat it, but looking for anything more than a refund for the meal is overreaching.

    • mandy_Reeves says:

      I was talking to some relatives and they said growing up, they would fight over who got to eat the chicken brain. Growing up on a chicken farm, I guess they ate that kinda thing.

  17. Lollerface says:

    Kidney. If I found a chicken brain I could eat it and gain its knowledge.

  18. visual77 says:

    Goddamn, what a whiner.

    I’ve been vegetarian since I was born, and you know what I do when I find a chunk of meat in something that I ordered that shouldn’t have had meat? I ask for a replacement. I don’t even ask for a refund. Just a new item that doesn’t have what I didn’t want.

  19. chiieddy says:

    I believe it’s a kidney, and I fry up and eat the giblets. Nothing to lose sleep over.

  20. Blueskylaw says:

    “he was offered an apology and a full refund (about $24). “

    How much did he exactly order for a KFC meal to be about $24?

  21. LightningUsagi says:

    When I was a teenager, I found a similar item in my bucket o’chicken, and enjoyed chasing my then-boyfriend around with it while he screamed like a little girl and our friends laughed. And long after we’d tossed it, we’d still bring up the subject of the chicken brain to him when we were eating to gross him out.

    • RvLeshrac says:

      Do you still keep in contact with him? Does he bring his boyfriend over?

      Seriously, I *loathe and despise* organ meat – I get involuntarily ill at the smell or taste of cooked liver – but I don’t understand any of these stories about people getting “freaked out” by some animal parts.

  22. humphrmi says:

    My dad and grandfather were both chicken farmers at one time, so I’ve seen chicken brains. Chicken brains are very small. After cooking, you couldn’t take much of a bite without eating the whole thing. If this guy had anything left to take back to KFC, it probably wasn’t a brain.

    Kidneys are actually quite tasty, when prepared correctly.

  23. Geosama says:

    Ah what’s the big deal anyway? It’s just more protein. The rest of the world doesn’t waste anything edible. He should see it as a bonus if anything! For those of you who haven’t had brain from any animal before…you’re missing out.

  24. Macgyver says:

    “My stomach turned when I saw what it was – I always eat my chicken in the same way – by eating the skin then picking it off the bone and it fell out.”
    So, it looks like he didn’t eat it, it just fell out.

    “I had to take days off work because I was feeling so sick and I have lost money. The company have only offered to give me the cost of the meal back and that is not acceptable.”
    He didn’t has to take off work. They offered him a refund, what the hell else does he want. He’s acting like a big baby.

    But that’s the world we live in today, if you don’t like the outcome, you’ll sue.

  25. OnePumpChump says:

    If you eat the chicken’s heart you take its power.

  26. glennski says:

    It’s not as if he ate the kidney(even that wouldn’t be a big deal)…so all this whining over having seen a fried chicken kidney. The sight of it made him sick for days, haha.

  27. BigHeadEd says:

    Is nobody is going to call out the fact that the food is fried? If the comments on the Double-Down are any indication, that is the true evil here.

  28. topgun says:

    Wow is this guy a wuss. I mean if you REALLY stop and think about it is it any worse than eating any other part of animal flesh? (and I’m not a vegan so I’m not opposed). If that made him sick he really needs to see what goes into a hot dog, or bologna. (snout, tongue, brain, kidney, heart, intestine, lips….. all that good stuff). Does he realize that if he eats shrimp that hasn’t been de-veined he’s also eating shrimp poo?
    Here’s a link to FDA guidelines for allowable amounts of things like insect parts, rodent hairs etc that is common.:
    So in the end, what’s all the fuss about a little kidney?

    • pop top says:

      The whole lips and anus thing about hotdogs is untrue and has been untrue for decades. It’s held to a much higher standard than it used to be.

  29. AustinTXProgrammer says:

    Legal action, lost work? This guy is nuts. It’s food, it came from a chicken. Get over it.

  30. topgun says:

    Furthermore I’m surprised $24 worth of KFC food didn’t do him more harm.

    • pecan 3.14159265 says:

      It’s in pounds, so it’s only 15 pounds. The average price of a meal in England is probably around ~10 to ~20 pounds.

  31. lockdog says:

    Seeing chicken brains and kidneys are both edible, it’s not like this was poorly fileted blowfish or something. Chicken organs are small, and it can be hard to get inside the cavity to make sure you’ve cleaned everything out, especially if you have big hands like me. Although missing a kidney is rare, it’s pretty common to see bits of cooked lung tissue on the insides of breast once you know what to look for.

  32. blinky says:

    You’re eating anatomically correct food, and you object to an organ? Now if I found a chicken kidney in my tofu, I’d be grossed out.

  33. Andy S. says:

    This really is ridiculous. Unless this guy can produce some research that says that consumption of chicken brain is harmful in any way (other than probably being high in cholesterol), he should just put on his big girl pants and deal with it.

    I remember, as a kid, cooking a meal with my mom, preparing a gravy or something that required chicken livers. The tub of chicken livers that we had purchased — from a major chicken supplier which I won’t name here, mind you — also happened to contain a pair of chicken lungs. It was kind of gross, but you know what? We threw the lungs in the trash and we washed off the livers just to be safe. No lawsuit, no whining.

    I was ten years old, and I was more of an adult than this clown is.

  34. Dragon Tiger says:

    I find those occasionally in the chicken I get from KFC, Popeye’s, Boston Market, and the supermarket. I never understood what the big deal was.

    Hey, at least it’s still chicken, not some sort of vermin.

    • Dragon Tiger says:

      Had KFC the night after this posted, and had kidneys in both thighs. Oddly, since it did not look like chicken meat, I did not eat it. Seeing it, however, did not gross me out.

  35. Simon Barsinister says:

    Most organs are higher in nutrition than muscle meat. Plus is proved he’s eating real chicken not some chem-lab pseudo food.

    He had to take DAYS off work!? I wonder if a bird pooped on his shoulder would he have to be hospitalized?

    What possible legal action could he take? KFC gave me CHICKEN in my chicken!
    I don’t see the problem.

    People are too squeamish these days. Go visit a farm and see where food comes from. Hint: Real food isn’t squeezed out of a tube.

  36. kamiikoneko says:

    As someone who has eaten plenty of soul food where you often order half a chicken fried, you see this alot. I was a little grossed out at the little yellow brain (actually a kidney) that I saw, but then I threw it at on my friends plate, made some joke about chickenheads, and went back to eating. Because i’m not an incredible wuss.

    Also, if he was so disturbed why is he holding it for the camera? yeah….

  37. davemei83 says:

    This story is pathetic and the customer in question is pathetic.

  38. Chu-Chu says:

    What confuses me is that he is so grossed out by this chicken organ that he missed days of work, but isn’t grossed out enough to stop himself from holding it up between his fingers and have his picture taken? He doesn’t look disgusted in that picture. He looks like someone that has handled that kind of stuff before and is bored with the fact he has to do it again.

  39. Chaluapman says:


  40. UnicornMaster says:

    It was a fried chicken brain right? Did they get batter on it at least? I bet it was tasty. WTF. It’s not like it’s metal parts. You’re real whole chicken. What do you expect to happen?

  41. FrugalFreak says:

    I eat the little giblet organ on every large piece, hasn’t killed me yet. They sell livers and gizzards to eat. This is much ado about nothing.

  42. 4Real says:

    KFC does still sell Chicken Livers anf Gizzards if you want to buy them know know..lol Kidneys are a good source of protein…lol

  43. yessongs says:

    Isn’t that what normally comes with the chicken in Britain? Isn’t that some kind of bangers and something or haggis

  44. solipsistnation says:

    Pfft, don’t be silly. Chickens don’t have brains.

  45. Hi_Hello says:

    sounds yummy. I”m more gross out seeing a piece of chicken feather…

  46. anarkie says:

    Zombie chicken says yumm!

  47. HogwartsProfessor says:

    I used to work at a restaurant that is famous for its fried chicken. Two days a week, the chicken man would bring big boxes of cut-up fryers and my friend and I would sit there and trim them all day. There were plenty of lungs, hearts, gizzards and assorted crap stuck to them. Sometimes they don’t come off the ribs all the way and we would miss one. It won’t hurt you. Scrape it off and MOVE ON.

    I laughed really hard over Simon Barsinister’s comment “If a bird pooped on his shoulder would he have to be hospitalized?” Bwaa ha ha!

  48. kmz says:

    Man, if that was me I would be feeling lucky for getting bonus organ meat. Brains, kidneys, liver, heart, etc. Those are all the best parts!

  49. hotcocoa says:

    This is redonkulous. Too many people out to pay their bills through the court system rather than working, these days. This guy is an arse. They should not only throw out his case, but also make him see how his meal gets from farm to the fryer to shut him up.

  50. dolemite says:

    My mom brought over KFC a few weeks ago. It seemed to be pretty crappy quality. As I was pulling the breading off of a thigh, I found a fully formed spinal column with all the vertebrae attached. I was pretty grossed out. I’m pretty sure I found an organ of some kind too in that same bucket…lung or brain or something.

  51. Dave Saunders says:

    Let’s see…he’s eating fried chicken, from the torso, and he finds a brain? A kidney is so much more likely. I doubt this guy would know the difference anyway. Anyone who has ever prepped their own chicken should know how ridiculously unlikely it would be to mix the contents of a chicken head with the torso pieces…and yet how easy it could be to not detach all of the organs…

  52. venomroses says:

    I don’t know if any of you every worked in a KFC (i did for a very short time), but the chicken comes to KFC with the kidneys attached. (“chicken was not fully trimmed prior to cooking.”)

    There are people whose sole job is to prep and cook the chicken all day, and if you have to trim off a kidney alll day you are bound to miss one…

    Lame article.

  53. human_shield says:

    And? It was cooked wasn’t it? Maybe the OP should become a vegetarian. You can eat the dead flesh, fat, and muscles of the chicken but other parts make you sick for days at the thought of it?

  54. FranktasticVoyage says:

    Have you guys never had gotten this before?
    You get it in many of your whole chickens, and I’ve gotten it numerous times in commerical fried chicken. Wish I had thought to getting a refund or suing….

  55. hakkoz says:

    I’ve had chicken brain. It’s not all that bad. And I know plenty of other people who have eaten kidney. Suck it up, America.

  56. spittingangels says:

    I was never sure if it was a kidney or other organ but they are found in a bony cavity near the backbone of a thigh cut. When in fried chicken they tend to be grey on the outside and pink on the inside and are soft. They DO sort of look like brain matter so I can see how the OP might’ve made that mistake but even when I first saw them as a kid, I knew enough about basic anatomy to know they are not brains.

    Anyways, they are delicious and I consider it a treat to find one when eating a chicken thigh. I wasn’t aware that people would complain about finding more meat in their meat.

  57. Serenefengshui says:

    um, it’s chicken. You’re eating an animal. I don’t get it. They just got a bonus of extra organ–full of vitamins and nutrients!

  58. aaron8301 says:

    I must blame the OP on this one. It’s chicken; why would you be surprised to find chicken…. in chicken?

  59. jacobs cows says:

    This man is acting like a chicken.

  60. common_sense84 says:

    Nothing is scarier than a chicken joint calling a piece of chicken unsightly.

    Does no one know that meat is from living creatures anymore?

  61. The Marionette says:

    They have no problem eating the legs, wings, breast, pretty much the whole chicken, but throw a little brain into their diets (lord knows many need one) and they get pissy.

  62. BytheSea says:

    What a psycho, obv never cooks for himself. Whenever you get chicken legs, there’s bits of organ left on them. You have to clean them or wee bird kidneys are left, look like kidney beans. They’re bloody but edible, people have eaten organ meat just like muscle meat since the beginning of time. I wouldn’t have even called the store, unless it was particularly messy on more than half the pieces.

  63. EarthAngel says:
  64. 24NascarDude says:

    Oh, come on. I looked at the photo in the article. I find at least part of those in about 1 out of every 30 to 40 thighs that I eat there (or is it breasts? I can’t remember off-hand.). It’s not that big of a deal.

  65. arizonaadam says:

    You’re eating an animal that was once alive and possessed the equipment required for living. Human finger in your chicken … UNACCEPTABLE. Chicken part in your chicken … live with it or do your own slaughtering.

  66. JadePharaoh says:

    Okay, first of all, that does not look like a brain. If anything, it’s a kidney or the gizzard. Two, whatever it is, it’s not poisonous, and it didn’t make him physically ill. In fact there are some people that do eat the brains and or kidneys of animals. And three, I doubt he missed work because he was sick; he couldn’t go to work because of these pesky dollar signs covering up his eyes.

  67. Chaosium says:

    WAAAAHHHHH someone put MEAT in my meat!

    (not a vegetarian)

  68. The Porkchop Express says:

    So he missed work because he felt sick after biting into something? Something that was probably a kidney/liver? Sick enough to miss work? Did he go to the presumably free doctor to see if something was wrong or did he just “feel” sick as in grossed out?

    Can I sue a movie company if they make a movie that grosses me out so much that I feel too sick to work the next day?

    I thought that America was the only place where people are this sue happy. Doesn’t the UK have a loser pays deal as far as law suits?

  69. Elcheecho says:

    chicken brains are only slightly less delicious than kidneys, which in turn are slightly less delicious than the gizzard and heart.

  70. ElizabethD says:

    Oh, for god’s sake. What a wuss. I always cook and eat the kidneys, liver, heart, etc. that come packaged with whole roasting or broiling chickens. Yum – organ meats!

  71. suez says:

    Honestly, going all the way back to my childhood, I’ve always found pieces of unidentifiable organs in the KFC breasts–it’s part of why I don’t eat there anymore. To me this isn’t a new or surprising story.

  72. marsneedsrabbits says:

    He’s from England, home of kidney pie and blood pudding, and that fermented fish paste stuff?

    And this bothers him?

  73. twofatfeet says:

    This happened to a friend of mine in the cafeteria when we were in high school

  74. sweaterhogans says:

    I would be grossed out if I found either at KFC, but I have knowingly eaten both a brain and kidney while traveling. I didn’t really want to, but sometimes you just have to. I tried the brain because my cousin was raving about it. It wasn’t a whole brain, it was in India, so it was a curry. It looked and tasted like tofu crumbles. Not a big deal. Kidney is much grosser, but I was at an izakaya and I kind of had to eat the mystery yakitori I ordered.

  75. cheezfri says:

    So can anyone verify here whether it is a kidney or a brain? I’ve seen my share of turkey and chicken giblets over the years, and have not run across a kidney like that.

  76. wildgift says:

    I thought they ate “kidney pie” in the UK.