updated 4/7/2009 6:33:56 PM ET 2009-04-07T22:33:56

KFC says its popcorn chicken had a bit more heat than intended.

The fried chicken giant is suing one of its suppliers, saying the cups used to hold popcorn chicken caught on fire while being reheated in the microwave oven.

Louisville-based KFC said in a federal lawsuit that Paris Packaging Inc. of Paris, Texas, changed the content of the ink used on the containers, using a new formula that includes carbon, which may catch fire if heated.

The restaurant chain said at least two people reported fires. KFC said company employees then tested the cups in a microwave oven and, after being heated for 13-19 seconds, the cups caught fire.

KFC spokesman Rick Maynard said no one was injured because of the fires.

"Since the safety of our customers is our top priority, KFC took immediate action by removing the packaging based on two reported issues," Maynard said.

KFC, a division of fast food giant Yum Brands Inc., is seeking at least $757,000 to cover the cost of more than 11,000 recalled containers and other unspecified financial damages. The company, in the suit filed Monday, also wants U.S. District Judge John G. Heyburn of Louisville to issue an order that KFC cannot be held responsible for any damage caused by the cups that combusted.

A message left for Paris Packaging was not immediately returned Tuesday morning. An e-mail sent to Paris Packaging President Bill Carver was not immediately responded to Tuesday.

KFC claims Paris Packaging, which has been supplying boxes and cups to KFC since 2007, changed the composition of the ink used to print labels on cups and boxes in February without notifying the restaurant chain.

The issue arose when a customer complained to KFC on Feb. 4 that the cup containing popcorn chicken "spontaneously burst into flames" while being reheated at a customer's home, KFC said.

KFC sent a notice to all restaurants and franchisees on Feb. 20, telling them to stop using the Paris Packaging containers until further notice.

Copyright 2009 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.


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