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Man dies in a chicken-eating contest organized by KFC

A contestant in a chicken-eating contest organized by a local franchisee of Kentucky Fried Chicken in Indonesia died after choking on a piece of chicken wing on Friday, March 11.

The 45-year-old man, identified as Fredy Jayadi, was one of the three persons who took part in the preliminary stage of the competition which requires contestants to eat three pieces of chicken wings as fast as possible within five minutes. The first contestant to finish the chicken in the least amount of time wins the contest.

The competition is a national promotion campaign by Fast Food Indonesia, the Indonesian KFC franchisee, which promises to give away 5 billion Indonesian Rupiah (about $385,000) as grand prize. The winner in the preliminary stage of the chicken-eating contest will take home 15 million Indonesian Rupiah ($1,155).

Taufik Iksan, an official of the General Crime Unit of the Tangerang Resort Police, said Fredy Jayadi was finishing his third chicken wing when he suddenly choked. He was given first aid by the organizers, who later took him to a nearby clinic. However, Jayadi was pronounced dead on arrival.

The Jakarta Police shuttered the KFC outlet in Taman Semanan in Cengkareng, West Jakarta where the incident happened and started its investigation.

Jakarta Police chief detective Didik Sugiarto told the Jakarta Globe that investigators requested an autopsy on the victim’s body. He said they are trying to determine if Fast Food Indonesia neglected the necessary safety precautions for the contest.

Tulus Abadi, chairman of the Indonesian Consumer Protection Foundation, believes the organizer may have broken the law by simply holding the competition.

"It can be said that KFC breached the 1999 Consumer Protection Law, which states customers are entitled to comfort, security and safety while using any goods or services," Tulus Abadi said; adding that "eating contests are dangerous and can cost lives."

Abadi called on the company to stop its marketing stunt.

KFC Indonesia has yet to issue a statement on the matter.

By Robert Muriisa.

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