News / Asia

McDonald's Meat Supplier Overhauls China Operations

McDonald's Hong Kong restaurants have taken chicken nuggets and chicken filet burgers off the menu following accusations of selling expired meat. A menu as of July 25, 2014.
McDonald's Hong Kong restaurants have taken chicken nuggets and chicken filet burgers off the menu following accusations of selling expired meat. A menu as of July 25, 2014.
Reuters

A leading U.S. meat supplier said a Chinese unit at the center of a food safety scandal had issues that were “absolutely inconsistent” with the group's high standards.

“This is my company and events like these have a personal toll. ... They simply don't represent the values I stand for or those of my company,” Sheldon Lavin, the millionaire chairman, CEO and owner of Illinois-based OSI Group LLC, said at a news conference Monday in Shanghai.

OSI said it was suspending operations at Shanghai Husi Food and would review all its China plants in an effort to limit further damage after losing two major customers.

KFC and Pizza Hut parent Yum Brands Inc. last week severed its ties with OSI, while the Japan and Hong Kong units of McDonald's Corp. said they were ending their relationship with the U.S. meat processor's Chinese unit following allegations it mixed expired meat with fresh produce.

Customers eat at a McDonald's restaurant in Hong Kong on July 25, 2014.Customers eat at a McDonald's restaurant in Hong Kong on July 25, 2014.
x
Customers eat at a McDonald's restaurant in Hong Kong on July 25, 2014.
Customers eat at a McDonald's restaurant in Hong Kong on July 25, 2014.

David McDonald, OSI's president and chief operating officer, said the group was making senior management changes in China and will set up a quality control center in Shanghai to better supervise its business. It also will bring in global experts to survey the China operations and improve auditing, including constant visual surveillance and extensive employee interviews.

In addition, it plans to spend 10 million yuan ($1.62 million) on a food safety education program in Shanghai.

McDonald's headquarters to take control

OSI, which ranks among the top few dozen U.S. private companies with annual revenue of close to $6 billion, said its China operations had a certain amount of autonomy. The group wanted a decentralized business model that allowed decisions to be made locally, although global standards were not meant to be broken. McDonald's said the China operations would come under the direct control of headquarters.

Shanghai Husi Food was accused earlier this month by a TV documentary of mixing expired meat with fresh product and forging production dates. Regulators in Shanghai said Husi had forged the dates on smoked beef patties and then sold them after they expired. Police have detained five people as part of their investigation. There have been no reports of any consumers falling sick.

“To date, we've found issues that are absolutely inconsistent with our internal requirements for the highest standards, processes and policies,” McDonald told a packed news conference at a Shanghai hotel, adding that all nine OSI food processing plants in China would be reviewed.

China is McDonald's third biggest market by outlets and Yum's largest, representing a big growth opportunity for foreign fast-food chains. But a series of damaging food safety scandals in recent years risks denting those prospects as many Chinese look to foreign restaurants for better quality.

Meat dishes off menu

McDonald's, which has more than 2,000 outlets in mainland China, took more meat dishes off its menus Monday as it sought to fill the supply gap after OSI withdrew all Shanghai Husi products from the market at the weekend.

At least three McDonald's outlets in Shanghai and Beijing, visited by Reuters reporters on Monday, had stopped selling all or most of their meat products. Outlets in cities such as Tianjin and Wuhan were also affected, according to microblog postings.

A spokeswoman at McDonald's in China said its beef, chicken and pork products were affected at outlets across the country, though the level of impact varied.

In an emailed statement, McDonald's said it had withdrawn all products from the Husi group in China since Friday. “As a result, we are now only offering a limited menu in our restaurants around the country.”

“We are leveraging our network of suppliers to resume our full menu offerings. Some restaurants will resume offering full menu in early August and some may take a little longer. We apologize to our customers for causing them such concern and inconvenience,” it added.

'Won't accept their apologies'

“I wanted to order chicken products today,” said Tan Qiang, 23, at one McDonald's outlet in central Shanghai. “But they only had one type of combo and nothing else. I was disappointed not being able to eat what I want.”

Outside another nearby McDonald's, an 18-year-old student who only gave her surname as Li, said: “For big companies like McDonald's, they should feel sorry for what they did to customers. I won't accept their apologies.”

Food safety is a big issue for Chinese consumers after dairy products tainted with the industrial chemical melamine led to the deaths of six infants in 2008 and left many thousands sick.    

You May Like

Israelis Quietly Expand Enclave in Palestinian District of Jerusalem

Estimated 500 settlers, armed or protected by paramilitary police, live in Silwan among 50,000 Palestinians More

Video US, Iran Face Similar Challenges in Syrian Fight Against IS

Both Washington, Tehran back fighters battling Islamic State militants in Iraq -- but in Syria they support opposing sides in country’s civil war More

China Boosts Efforts to Help Afghan, Regional Stability

Observers say China’s increased regional involvement are due to concerns that Afghan instability and the presence of anti-China militants in Pakistani border areas could fuel Xinjiang troubles More

This forum has been closed.
Comment Sorting
Comments
     
by: Frankie Fook-lun Leung from: Los Angeles
July 28, 2014 11:08 PM
Speaking as a lawyer, the problem in China is not there are no rules and regulations. But the people who supposedly are hired to enforce the rules and regulations do not do a good job. There are many loopholes, including corruption and cultural attitude which defeats the purported enforcement of these rules and regulations.


by: timekeeper from: Florida
July 28, 2014 11:17 AM
To me the real issue is why we are buying meet from china instead of the US. do we not have meat processing is this country anymore. McDonalds could not open their own processing center in this country. you can set up all the standards in the world but it is hard to change culture. Many foreign cultures do not understand health proceedure's. China has had a bad track record so far on food including killing many pets with bad dog food.


by: Lesley from: Ontario, Canada
July 28, 2014 11:02 AM
It says in the article there have been no reports of people getting sick! Well I ate there in April of this year and noticed my double cheese burger tasted funny - but chalked it up to a different way of preparing it. Within hours I had severe food poising which lasted for 3 days! I could barely stomach any food for the rest of my trip. It was horrible - I was on a guided tour and missed 3 days of activities as I was in my room - I was SOOO sick! and I KNOW it was from that McDonald's burger in Shanghai!!

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
After Decades of Pressure, Luxembourg Drops Bank Secrecy Rulesi
X
October 21, 2014 12:20 AM
European Union finance ministers have reached a breakthrough agreement that will make it more difficult for tax cheats to hide their money. The new legislation, which had been blocked for years by countries with a reputation as tax havens, was approved last week after Luxembourg and Austria agreed to lift their vetoes. But as Mil Arcega reports, it doesn’t mean tax cheats have run out of places to keep their money hidden.
Video

Video After Decades of Pressure, Luxembourg Drops Bank Secrecy Rules

European Union finance ministers have reached a breakthrough agreement that will make it more difficult for tax cheats to hide their money. The new legislation, which had been blocked for years by countries with a reputation as tax havens, was approved last week after Luxembourg and Austria agreed to lift their vetoes. But as Mil Arcega reports, it doesn’t mean tax cheats have run out of places to keep their money hidden.
Video

Video Kobani Refugees Welcome, Turkey Criticizes, US Airdrop

Residents of Kobani in northern Syria have welcomed the airdrop of weapons, ammunition and medicine to Kurdish militia who are resisting the seizure of their city by Islamic State militants. The Turkish government, however, has criticized the operation. VOA’s Scott Bobb reports from southeastern Turkey, across the border from Kobani.
Video

Video China Political Meeting Seeks to Improve Rule of Law

China’s communist leaders will host a top level political meeting this week, called the Fourth Plenum, and for the first time in the party’s history, rule of law will be a key item on the agenda. Analysts and Chinese media reports say the meetings could see the approval of long-awaited measures aimed at giving courts more independence and include steps to enhance an already aggressive and high-reaching anti-corruption drive. VOA’s Bill Ide has more from Beijing.
Video

Video US ‘Death Cafes’ Put Focus on the Finale

In contemporary America, death usually is a topic to be avoided. But the growing “death café” movement encourages people to discuss their fears and desires about their final moments. VOA’s Jerome Socolovsky reports.
Video

Video Ebola Orphanage Opens in Sierra Leone

Sierra Leone's first Ebola orphanage has opened in the Kailahun district. Hundreds of children orphaned since the beginning of the Ebola outbreak face stigma and rejection with nobody to care for them. Adam Bailes reports for VOA about a new interim care center that's aimed at helping the growing number of children affected by Ebola.
Video

Video Young Nairobi Tech Innovator on 'Track' in Security Business

A 24-year-old technology innovator in Nairobi has invented a tracking device that monitors and secures cars. He has also come up with what he claims is the most robust audio-visual surveillance system yet. As Lenny Ruvaga reports from the Kenyan capital, his innovations are offering alternative security solutions.
Video

Video Latinas Converting to Islam for Identity, Structure

Latinos are one of the fastest growing groups in the Muslim religion. According to the Pew Research Center, about 6 percent of American Muslims are Latino. And a little more than half of new converts are female. VOA’s Carolyn Presutti travelled to Miami, Florida -- where two out of every three residents is Hispanic -- to learn more.
Video

Video Exclusive: American Joins Kurds' Anti-IS Fight

The United States and other Western nations have expressed alarm about their citizens joining Islamic State forces in Syria and Iraq. In a rare counterpoint to the phenomenon, an American has taken up arms with the militants' Syrian Kurdish opponents. Elizabeth Arrott has more in this exclusive profile by VOA Kurdish reporter Zana Omer in Ras al Ayn, Syria.
Video

Video South Korea Confronts Violence Within Military Ranks

Every able-bodied South Korean male between 18 and 35 must serve for 21 to 36 months in the country’s armed forces, depending upon the specific branch. For many, service is a rite of passage to manhood. But there are growing concerns that bullying and violence come along with the tradition. Reporter Jason Strother has more from Seoul.
Video

Video North Carolina Emerges as Key Election Battleground

U.S. congressional midterm elections will be held on November 4th and most political analysts give Republicans an excellent chance to win a majority in the U.S. Senate, which Democrats now control. So what are the issues driving voters in this congressional election year? VOA National Correspondent Jim Malone traveled to North Carolina, one of the most politically competitive states in the country, to find out.
Video

Video Comanche People Maintain Pride in Their Heritage

The Comanche (Indian nation) once were called the “Lords of the Plains,” with an empire that included half the land area of current day Texas, large parts of Oklahoma, New Mexico, Kansas and Colorado.The fierceness and battle prowess of these warriors on horseback delayed the settlement of most of West Texas for four decades. VOA’s Greg Flakus reports from Lawton, Oklahoma, that while their warrior days are over, the 15,000 members of the Comanche Nation remain a proud people.
Video

Video Turkey Campus Attacks Raise Islamic Radicalization Fears

Concerns are growing in Turkey of Islamic radicalization at some universities, after clashes between supporters of the jihadist group Islamic State (IS) or ISIS, and those opposed to the extremists. Pro-jihadist literature is on sale openly on the streets of Istanbul. Critics accuse the government of turning a blind eye to radicalism at home, while Kurds accuse the president of supporting IS - a charge strongly denied. Henry Ridgwell reports from London.

All About America

AppleAndroid