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McDonald's, KFC in China face new food scandal

Chinese McDonald's, KFC Meat Supplier Shut Down For Bad Meat


By JOE McDONALD

BEIJING (AP) - 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 supplier, Husi Food Co., Ltd. The Shanghai office of China's food and drug agency said it was investigating and told customers to suspend use of its products.

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.

The Shanghai office of the State Food and Drug Administration said it was working with police to investigate Husi.

"At present, the company has been sealed and suspect products seized," the agency said on its website. It said distributors had been ordered to hold any of its products for investigation.

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."

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ectullis July 21 2014 at 7:26 AM

Now let's get this straight. A company from Illinois sold Bad product to China?
Turnabout is fair play.

Flag Reply +9 rate up
3 replies
Joan July 21 2014 at 10:11 AM

Hardly, any surprise over there in China. Look at the junk they send us. Work and safety ethic, non existent.

Flag Reply +5 rate up
sny357 July 21 2014 at 10:50 AM

Search in YouTube for "cat cruelty in china". There are videos that will shock and horrify you.....these videos will demonstrate what a sub human race the Chinese are...and they are worried about expired beef? What a laugh.

Flag Reply +4 rate up
1 reply
ualfriend sny357 July 21 2014 at 11:38 AM

try dog fighting in the us dim wit

Flag Reply 0 rate up
marianicole62 July 21 2014 at 9:30 AM

Well they eat dog and cat..... Just sayin.

Flag Reply +3 rate up
Sir. JJStryyker July 21 2014 at 10:24 AM

If the U.S. had any regards for food safety, none of our chicken of beef would be imported form China or any other country, The U.S. is very capable of raising our own beef and chicken. Mc Donalds use to have great chicken, however one day I told my girlfriend the the sandwich I bought had a funny taste to it. I gave it back to the cashier and they gave me a new one. "The same thing" A BAD TASTE...Now maybe I'm an old man, but I know when something taste bad. I found out later about the Chinese Chickens. That's why the different taste. The only thing that didn't change was the price. We don't need these other Fricken countries to supply us with beef and chicken or vegetables we can grow here right here in the U.S. Mexico, for one, uses insecticides on their vegetables that are outlawed here in the U.S. but, they can ship those same vegetables here to the U.S. for our consumption. Why is that? We should change the name of the U.S. to the United States of "Chimexjap".

Flag Reply +2 rate up
rocker July 21 2014 at 12:38 PM

the usa has the worst meat on the planet full of steroids hormones and only god knows what else its all about money the bottom line public safety is a joke

Flag Reply +2 rate up
chrisindanorth July 21 2014 at 11:08 AM

It's OK for them to eat all kinds of stuff like dog and whatnot but don't you dare feed them stale meat. Considering what the poor in China eat, I'd bet they'd be excited to have some stale meat.

Flag Reply +2 rate up
fred July 21 2014 at 6:34 AM

Bush's fault..........

Flag Reply +1 rate up
thosholzel July 21 2014 at 9:53 AM

A Chinese company screwing a foreign company in China? Well, we'll have to give them a stern slap on the wrist and tell them to stop it!

Flag Reply +1 rate up
llozano July 21 2014 at 9:53 AM

It's not real meat anyway. That grey stuff doesn't look like any beef I've ever eaten.

Flag Reply +1 rate up
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