Chinese chicken rejected by McDonald’s after scandal

By Oli Haenlein

- Last updated on GMT

Related tags Food Poultry

Secret filming revealed workers repacking old meat, as well as meat which had been on the floor
Secret filming revealed workers repacking old meat, as well as meat which had been on the floor
After a major food safety scandal, McDonald’s in Japan has stopped buying chicken from China, while Hong Kong’s outlets have taken chicken products off the menu completely.

Five people were detained after an Xinhua news agency investigation alleged that Shanghai Husi Food, which supplies McDonald’s and KFC, was using out-of-date meat and picking up food from the floor for reuse. The company is owned by US supplier OSI Group.

McDonald’s Japan has reportedly started using chicken only from Thailand, buying from McKey Foods Services Thailand, a unit of Keystone Foods, and Cargill Thailand. It said that it imported some products from Shanghai Husi between July last year and June this year, although no food items remained in stock.

Secret filming inside the factory showed workers repackaging old meat, reportedly many months past its expiry date, as new, and a number of shots showed various meat products on the floor being used.

Hong Kong’s McDonald’s stores have stopped selling a range of products, including McSpicy Chicken Filets and chicken salads. The fast food company in Hong Kong has suspended all imports from Shanghai Husi Food.

OSI issued a statement apologising for the affair. Chairman, chief executive officer and owner of the OSI Group Sheldon Lavin said: "What happened at Shanghai Husi is completely unacceptable. I will not try and defend it or explain it. It was terribly wrong, and I am appalled that it ever happened in the company that I own.

"On behalf of Husi and OSI, I sincerely apologise to all of our customers in China. We will bear the responsibility of these missteps, and will make sure they never happen again. That is my personal commitment and that of our organisation."

Yum Brands, which owns KFC and Pizza Hut, has also been affected by the scandal, and has stopped using any meat from the Husi factory. Yum’s image has suffered from similar events in the past, with reports of bird flu and excessive antibiotic levels in chickens hurting sales previously.

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