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Colonel's secret recipe in safer vault

Associated Press / February 11, 2009
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LOUISVILLE, Ky. - Colonel Sanders's handwritten recipe for fried chicken was back in its Kentucky home yesterday after five months in hiding while KFC upgraded security around its top corporate secret.

Nothing went afoul when the recipe was returned from an undisclosed location to KFC's headquarters late Monday in a lockbox handcuffed to the wrist of a security consultant.

KFC President Roger Eaton was visibly relieved when the door to a new electronic safe was shut with the single sheet of yellowing paper stashed inside. "Mission accomplished," he said.

"It was very nerve wracking," Eaton said later of the recipe's hiatus from a vault where it has been kept for decades. "I don't want to be the only president who's lost the recipe."

KFC is a subsidiary of Louisville-based Yum Brands Inc., which also owns Taco Bell, Pizza Hut, Long John Silver's, and A&W All-American Food.

The recipe lays out a mix of 11 herbs and spices that coat the chain's Original Recipe chicken, including exact amounts for each ingredient.

The recipe is written in pencil and signed by Harland Sanders.

The iconic recipe is now protected by an array of high-tech security gadgets, including motion detectors and cameras that allow guards to monitor the vault around the clock.

"It's like an onion of security - many layers," said security specialist Bo Dietl, who brought the recipe back to the building.

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