News / Asia

    Tainted Food Scandal Grows in China

    FILE - A Chinese man poses for photos with Ronald McDonald, the mascot for fast food restaurant McDonald's, outside one of its branch at a train station in Shenyang in northern China's Liaoning province.
    FILE - A Chinese man poses for photos with Ronald McDonald, the mascot for fast food restaurant McDonald's, outside one of its branch at a train station in Shenyang in northern China's Liaoning province.
    VOA News

    A toxic food scandal in China is spreading fast, dragging in U.S. coffee chain Starbucks, Burger King Worldwide Inc. and others, as well as products of McDonald's Corp. as far away as Japan.

    McDonald's and KFC's parent Yum Brands Inc. apologized to Chinese customers on Monday after it emerged that Shanghai Husi Food Co Ltd., a unit of U.S.-based OSI Group LLC, had supplied expired meat to the two chains.

    On Tuesday, Starbucks said some of its stores previously sold products containing chicken originally sourced from Shanghai Husi, a firm that was shut down on Sunday by local regulators after a TV report showed staff using expired meat and picking up meat from the floor to add to the mix.

    McDonald's said meat from the supplier had been sold to its branches in Japan where it was used in the firm's McNuggets.

    Removing products

    Fast-food chain Burger King and Dicos, China's third-ranked diner owned by Ting Hsin International, said they would remove Shanghai Husi food products from their outlets.

    Pizza chain Papa John's International Inc said on its Weibo blog that it had taken down all meat products supplied by Shanghai Husi and cut ties with the supplier.

    China's food safety agency on Tuesday announced a nationwide inspection of processing factories and meat suppliers used by Shanghai Husi.

    In addition to Husi's facility in Shanghai, inspectors will look at processing sites and meat sources in five other provinces in central, eastern and southern China, the China Food and Drug Administration announced.

    On Monday, the agency said it sealed Husi's plant in Shanghai and told customers to hold suspect products for testing.

    Food safety is one of the top issues for Chinese consumers after a scandal in 2008 where dairy products tainted with the industrial chemical melamine led to the deaths of six infants and made many thousands sick.

    Other food scandals have hit the meat and dairy industries in recent years, and many Chinese look to foreign brands as offering higher safety standards.

    Starbucks said on its Chinese microblog site that it had no direct business relationship with Shanghai Husi, but that some of its chicken acquired from another supplier had originally come from Shanghai Husi for its “Chicken Apple Sauce Panini” products.

    This had been sold in 13 different provinces and major cities.

    Starbucks added that all the products had already been removed from the shelves.

    Television report

    A weekend report by a Shanghai TV station that Shanghai Husi Food Co. repackaged old meat added to a string of food safety scares in China that have left the public wary of dairies, restaurants and other suppliers.

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

    In a statement, Husi said it was "appalled by the report" and would cooperate with the investigation. It promised to share the results with the public.

    McDonald's, KFC and a third restaurant chain, Taiwanese-owned Dicos, said they immediately stopped using meat supplied by Shanghai Husi.

    The scare has stirred local consumers and become one of the most discussed topics online by the country's influential "netizens," with some users writing and spreading long lists of firms thought to be tarnished.

    The incident highlights the difficulty in ensuring quality and safety along the supply chain in China. Wal-Mart Stores Inc. came under the spotlight this year after a supplier's donkey meat product was found to contain fox meat. It also came under fire for selling expired duck meat in 2011.

    Burger King said in a Weibo statement posted late on Monday that it had taken off its shelves all meat products supplied by Shanghai Husi Food and had launched an investigation.

    Suspect ham products

    Dicos said it pulled all ham products supplied by Shanghai Husi, and would stop serving its ham sandwich product for breakfast.

    “We will continue to carry out a probe into Shanghai Husi Food and its related firms, to understand whether or not it followed national regulations,” Dicos said in a statement.

    IKEA said on Weibo that Shanghai Husi had previously been a supplier, but had not provided the firm with products since September last year. Domino's Pizza Inc. and Doctor's Associates Inc.'s Subway brand, which were named in online reports as being supplied meat from Shanghai Husi, said their outlets in China did not use meat products from the firm.

    Yoshinoya-parent Hop Hing Group Holdings Ltd., Japanese convenience store FamilyMart Co Ltd. and Chinese chain Wallace urged diners not to worry, and said they did not currently use any products from Shanghai Husi.

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

    The company, based in Louisville, Kentucky, said in a statement that "food safety is the most important priority for us. We will not tolerate any violations of government laws and regulations from our suppliers."

    Some information for this report provided by Reuters and AP.

    You May Like

    In Britain, The Sun Still Doesn’t Shine

    Invoking Spitfires and Merlin, Leave voters insist country can be great again, following surprising 'Brexit' vote last week

    Double Wave of Suicide Bombings Puts Lebanon, Refugees on Edge

    Following suicide bombings in Christian town of Al-Qaa, on Lebanon's northeast border with Syria, fears of further bombings have risen

    US Senators Warned on Zika After Failing to Pass Funding

    Zika threats and challenges, as well as issues of contraception and vaccines, spelled out as lawmakers point fingers

    This forum has been closed.
    Comment Sorting
    Comments
         
    by: Ian from: USA
    July 22, 2014 11:06 AM
    some ( I can not say all because I did not shop at all of the places) of the Chinese supermarkets in the state that I live do practice switching expire labels or provide no expiration dates (a very childish mentality of penny wise) because sooner or later one can lose the customers I found that the Korean or Japanese stores are tip top in cleanliness and being honest of the freshness of their food .

    Featured Videos

    Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
    Slow Rebuilding Amid Boko Haram Destruction in Nigeria’s Northeasti
    X
    June 29, 2016 6:15 PM
    Military operations have chased Boko Haram out of towns and cities in Nigeria’s northeast since early last year. But it is only recently that people have begun returning to their homes in Adamawa state, near the border with Cameroon, to try to rebuild their lives. For VOA, Chris Stein traveled to the area and has this report.
    Video

    Video Slow Rebuilding Amid Boko Haram Destruction in Nigeria’s Northeast

    Military operations have chased Boko Haram out of towns and cities in Nigeria’s northeast since early last year. But it is only recently that people have begun returning to their homes in Adamawa state, near the border with Cameroon, to try to rebuild their lives. For VOA, Chris Stein traveled to the area and has this report.
    Video

    Video Clinton Leads Trump, But Many Voters Don't Like Either

    In the U.S. presidential race, most recent polls show Democrat Hillary Clinton with a steady lead over Republican Donald Trump as both presumptive party nominees prepare for their party conventions next month. Trump’s disapproval ratings have risen in some recent surveys, but Clinton also suffers from high negative ratings, suggesting both candidates have a lot of work to do to improve their images before the November election. VOA National correspondent Jim Malone has more from Washington.
    Video

    Video New US Ambassador to Somalia Faces Heavy Challenges

    The new U.S. envoy to Somalia, who was sworn into office Monday, will be the first American ambassador to that nation in 25 years. He will take up his post as Somalia faces a number of crucial issues, including insecurity, an upcoming election, and the potential closure of the Dadaab refugee camp in Kenya. VOA’s Jill Craig asked Somalis living in Kenya’s capital city Nairobi how they feel about the U.S. finally installing a new ambassador.
    Video

    Video At National Zoo, Captivating Animal Sculptures Illustrate Tragedy of Ocean Pollution

    The National Zoo in Washington, D.C., is home to about 1,800 animals, representing 300 species. But throughout the summer, visitors can also see other kinds of creatures there. They are larger-than-life animal sculptures that speak volumes about a global issue — the massive plastic pollution in our oceans. VOA's June Soh takes us to the zoo's special exhibit, called Washed Ashore: Art to Save the Sea.
    Video

    Video Baghdad Bikers Defy War with a Roar

    Baghdad is a city of contradictions. War is a constant. Explosions and kidnappings are part of daily life. But the Iraqi capital remains a thriving city, even if a little beat up. VOA's Sharon Behn reports on how some in Baghdad are defying the stereotype of a nation at war by pursuing a lifestyle known for its iconic symbols of rebellion: motorbikes, leather jackets and roaring engines.
    Video

    Video Melting Pot of Immigrants Working to Restore US Capitol Dome

    The American Iron Works company is one of the firms working to renovate the iconic U.S. Capitol Dome. The company employs immigrants of many different cultural and national backgrounds. VOA’s Arman Tarjimanyan has more.
    Video

    Video Testing Bamboo as Building Material

    For thousands of years various species of bamboo - one of the world's most versatile plants - have been used for diverse purposes ranging from food and medicine to textiles and construction. But its use on a large scale is hampered because it's not manufactured to specific standards but grown in the ground. A University of Pittsburgh professor is on track to changing that. VOA’s George Putic reports.
    Video

    Video Orphanage in Iraqi City Houses Kids Who Lost their Parents to Attacks by IS

    An orphanage in Iraqi Kurdistan has become home to scores of Yazidi children who lost their parents after Islamic State militants took over Sinjar in Iraq’s Nineveh Province in 2014. Iraqi Kurdish forces backed by the U.S. airstrikes have since recaptured Sinjar but the need for the care provided by the orphanage continues. VOA’s Kawa Omar filed this report narrated by Rob Raffaele.
    Video

    Video Re-Opening Old Wounds in a Bullet-Riddled Cultural Landmark

    A cultural landmark before Lebanon’s civil war transformed it into a nest of snipers, Beirut’s ‘Yellow House’ is once again set to play a crucial role in the city.  Built in a neo-Ottoman style in the 1920s, in September it is set to be re-opened as a ‘memory museum’ - its bullet-riddled walls and bunkered positions overlooking the city’s notorious ‘Green Line’ maintained for posterity. John Owens reports from Beirut.
    Video

    Video Brexit Resounds in US Presidential Contest

    Britain’s decision to leave the European Union is resounding in America’s presidential race. As VOA’s Michael Bowman reports, Republican presumptive nominee Donald Trump sees Britain’s move as an affirmation of his campaign’s core messages, while Democrat Hillary Clinton sees the episode as further evidence that Trump is unfit to be president.
    Video

    Video NASA Juno Spacecraft, Nearing Jupiter, to Shed Light on Gas Giant

    After a five-year journey, the spacecraft Juno is nearing its destination, the giant planet Jupiter, where it will enter orbit and start sending data back July 4th. As Mike O'Sullivan reports from Pasadena, California, the craft will pierce the veil of Jupiter's dense cloud cover to reveal its mysteries.
    Video

    Video Orlando Shooting Changes Debate on Gun Control

    It’s been nearly two weeks since the largest mass shooting ever in the United States. Despite public calls for tighter gun control laws, Congress is at an impasse. Democratic lawmakers resorted to a 1960s civil rights tactic to portray their frustration. VOA’s Carolyn Presutti explains how the Orlando, Florida shooting is changing the debate.

    Special Report

    Adrift The Invisible African Diaspora