'We're only human': KFC forced to apologise for serving chicken burgers to vegans

Fast-food giant KFC has been forced to apologise after accidentally serving chicken burgers to several vegan diners, instead of their new 'Zero Chicken' plant-based burger.

The international fried-chicken chain launched their new vegan burger across the UK at the start of the month, with the plant-based version replacing a chicken-breast fillet with a Quorn fillet, coated in the Colonel's iconic original recipe herbs and spices.

But it hasn't been smooth sailing, with a number of UK residents complaining about receiving a regular chicken patty instead of the promised meat-free version.

Vegan Beth Hughes, 25, told Somerset Live she only realised she was served a chicken burger after taking a bite.

Hughes says she was "appalled," as she's a vegan "for strong ethical reasons".

"I abhor the thought of animals dying for food… It was the first time I had been to KFC and it will be the last."

The Liverpool Echo reports a local couple also ordered vegan burgers but didn't notice they came in regular KFC chicken burger boxes. The woman says upon realising she was eating a chicken burger, she was "physically sick" and threw the rest away.

Twitter user Rosie Durance tweeted images of her own vegan burger, with what was unmistakably a chicken patty on top - slightly at odds with the 'Zero Chicken' slogan on the box.

"I ordered the vegan burger... this looks very much like chicken?!?!?!" she wrote in her tweet to the KFC UK Twitter page.

A KFC spokesperson told the Independent they're pleased to see so many diners trying the new vegan option.

"That said, we know there's been a handful of instances where we've made mistakes… it's not great and we're really sorry that's happened.

"We're only human and it's no mean feat introducing new processes and equipment into over 900 restaurants. Our team members are still getting used to it all, but that's no excuse so we're keeping a close eye on it and doing everything we can to prevent it from happening again."

The spokesperson added that over 4000 team members were retrained over the weekend to ensure "the right order goes to the right person".

KFC United States announced last year they were also trialling a vegan product, launching nuggets made with chicken substitute 'Beyond Meat'.

There is no word yet on whether the vegan burger will launch in New Zealand.