A KFC diner was scarred for life after suffering horrific second-degree burns when she accidentally spilled boiling gravy across her bare lap.
Beth Smale claims she was left in agonizing pain and required weeks of medical treatment – but she now fears others could be hurt.
Photos show a six-inch blistered wound on Beth’s right thigh, which was exposed because she was wearing shorts when she was scalded.
The 22-year-old was forced to a cancel a longed-for first holiday with her boyfriend because her wound couldn’t be exposed to sunlight, and also because she felt so self-conscious about the scarring on her leg.
The customer service adviser, who works for DIY chain Wickes in the head office, said she was on her way to a family birthday party when she popped into a KFC in Bletchley, Milton Keynes, on Saturday afternoon, June 17.
She said: “It was my dad’s partner’s birthday and we were running a bit behind so popped in there for lunch.
“We ordered the meal – a bucket of chicken – and got a side of gravy. We were eating in, but they gave it to us as a takeaway and it was in takeaway containers.
“We went to sit down at the table and as I picked up the gravy, the pot was so hot, it was impossible to touch it. I quickly put it down on the table and it fell on to its side.
“The gravy – which was so hot it was bubbling – spilled on my leg.”
The 22-year-old said she had been wearing shorts and the gravy was only on her leg for a few seconds before she brushed it off.
Beth said: “By then my leg was already bubbling, the blisters came up within about five minutes.
“My partner said, ‘You can’t put ice on it. That can cause more damage’, so we went to A&E at Milton Keynes Urgent Care Clinic and they rushed me straight in.
“The doctor told me I had second-degree burns. It was disgusting – they had to pop all the blisters and rip all the skin off. My skin was still burning underneath, so she had to rip two layers of skin off.”
Beth said she suffered weeks of agony as she recovered from the serious burn and had to return to the doctors regularly to get the dressings changed.
She added she was due to go on holiday with her boyfriend, Daniel Griffin, to Dubai but they had to cancel it as she could not expose her wound to sunlight.
Six weeks on from the injury, Beth is fuming that KFC refuse to accept they were to blame for the accident – and she’s terrified this means it could happen to somebody else.
She said: “The day I got burnt, the doctor told me the temperature of that food must have been way too hot to cause that injury, so she advised me to go back to KFC and fill out an Accident Report Form.”
Beth added they went to complete a form and spoke to a manager who “didn’t apologize” and so the pair made an official complaint.
She received a $25 voucher and after chasing her complaint heard that KFC’s insurance company would not accept liability.
Adding: “I think it’s horrendous they’re not taking responsibility. I just want to make sure they have a system in place to make sure it can’t happen again.”
Second degree burns can take up to two months to heal and result in scarring and can even require skin grafts in some cases.
Janet Cox, Head of Risk and Compliance at KFC UK & Ireland, said: said: “We take health and safety seriously, so were very disappointed to hear about this. We’re really sorry that Beth hasbeen hurt, and are looking into this with our franchise partner.”