What's cooking? McDonald's, KFC in China face new food scandal

  • AP, Beijing
  • Updated: Jul 21, 2014 15:28 IST

McDonald's and KFC in China faced a new food safety scare Monday after a Shanghai television station reported a supplier sold them expired beef and chicken.

The companies said they immediately stopped using meat from the company, Husi Food Co., Ltd. The official Xinhua News Agency said authorities ordered the supplier to suspend operations and were investigating.

Dragon TV said Sunday that Husi, owned by OSI Group of Aurora, Illinois, repackaged stale beef and chicken and put new expiration dates on them. It said they were sold to McDonald's, KFC and Pizza Hut restaurants.

The report added to a series of food safety scares in China that have battered public confidence in dairies, fast food outlets and other
suppliers.

McDonald's Corp. and Yum Brands Inc., which owns KFC, Pizza Hut and Taco Bell, said in separate statements they were conducting their own investigations.

"Food safety is a top priority for McDonald's," the company said on its microblog account. The company said it pursues "strict compliance" with consumer safety laws and regulations and has "zero tolerance for illegal behavior."

A third company, sandwich shop chain Dicos, said in a statement it stopped using sausage patties supplied by Husi. Dicos is owned by Taiwan's Ting Hsin International Group and the company website said it had 2,000 outlets in China as of September 2013.

Phone calls to the Shanghai office of the food and drug regulator were not answered.

A woman who answered the phone at Husi's headquarters said no one was available to comment. The official Xinhua News Agency cited a company manager, Yang Liqun, who said Husi has a strict quality control system and will cooperate in the investigation.

KFC is China's biggest restaurant chain, with more than 4,000 outlets and plans to open 700 more this year.

The company was badly hurt after state television reported in December 2013 that some poultry suppliers violated rules on drug use in chickens.

Yum said KFC sales in China plunged 37 percent the following month. KFC launched an effort to tighten control over product quality and eliminated more than 1,000 small poultry producers from its supply network.

China has suffered a string of product scandals over the past decade in which infants, hospital patients and others have been killed by phony or adulterated milk powder, drugs and other goods.

Foreign fast food brands are seen as more reliable than Chinese competitors, though local brands have made big improvements in quality.
The high profile of foreign brands means any complaints involving them attract attention, while their status as foreign companies with less political influence means Chinese media can publicize their troubles more freely.

Scandal-weary consumers on Monday expressed mixed feelings.

Chen Lu, 24, an employee of an Internet company, was eating a chicken burger and fries at a McDonald's in central Shanghai that was half-empty at midday, a time when most restaurants are crowded.

"My boyfriend called and told me not to eat McDonald's one minute after I ordered this chicken hamburger, but what can I do? I've already ordered and I am in a hurry," she said.

"I am worried about my health," she said. "I will try to avoid it, at least for a while. I am pretty disappointed in this brand."

Another diner, Liu Kun, a 24-year-old student from Nanjing who was visiting Shanghai, said he was unconcerned.

"The incident won't change me eating here," said Liu. "There have been negative reports all the time, McDonald and KFC are the leaders in the industry."

From Around the Web
Sponsored by Revcontent

also read

Pharma firms turn to foreign lands for manufacturing
Show comments

Steps to disable Ad Blocker on your browser


In order to serve content on our website, we rely on advertising revenue which helps us to ensure that we continue to serve high quality unbiased journalism. From our end, we will aim to show clean and unobtrusive ads to provide you with a great browsing experience.

Request to please follow the steps below and once done, please refresh your page.


For Chrome and Ad BlockPlus users

1.Press the ‘ABP’ icon in your toolbar at top right of this page

2. Click on ‘Enabled on this site’; this should now change to ‘Disabled on this site’


chrome



For Chrome and Ad Block users

1.Press the ‘AdBlock’ icon in your toolbar

2.Select the option ‘Don’t run on pages on this domain’ and then click ‘exclude’ on the pop up


chrome

Steps to disable Ad Blocker on your browser


In order to serve content on our website, we rely on advertising revenue which helps us to ensure that we continue to serve high quality unbiased journalism. From our end, we will aim to show clean and unobtrusive ads to provide you with a great browsing experience.

Request to please follow the steps below and once done, please refresh your page.


For Mozilla and AdBlock Plus (ABP) users

1.Press the ‘ABP’ icon in your toolbar

2.Select the option ‘Disable on hindustantimes.com’


chrome

Steps to disable Ad Blocker on your browser


In order to serve content on our website, we rely on advertising revenue which helps us to ensure that we continue to serve high quality unbiased journalism. From our end, we will aim to show clean and unobtrusive ads to provide you with a great browsing experience.

Request to please follow the steps below and once done, please refresh your page.


For Internet Explorer and AdBlock Plus users

1.Press the ‘AdBlock Plus’ icon in your status bar at the bottom of the screen

2.Select the option ‘Disable on hindustantimes.com’


chrome

Steps to disable Ad Blocker on your browser


In order to serve content on our website, we rely on advertising revenue which helps us to ensure that we continue to serve high quality unbiased journalism. From our end, we will aim to show clean and unobtrusive ads to provide you with a great browsing experience.

Request to please follow the steps below and once done, please refresh your page.


For Safari and AdBlock users

1.Press the ‘AdBlock’ icon in your toolbar

2.Select the option ‘Don't run pages on this domain’ and then click 'exclude'


chrome