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

Photogallery Early Nigeria Results Show Buhari Leading; Tampering Concerns Mount

One local group monitoring polls is concerned politicians might use security agencies to 'fiddle with the election collation process' at state level More

UN: 7,300 Civilians Killed in Boko Haram Insurgency

A senior UN humanitarian official tells the United Nations Security Council 1,000 people have been killed this year More

Turkish President Warns Iran About Trying to Dominate Middle East

Warning comes amid growing concerns inside Turkey that it will be sucked into a sectarian conflict with its neighbor More

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.
Film Tells Story of Musicians in Mali Threatened by Jihadistsi
X
Greg Flakus
March 30, 2015 6:48 PM
At this year's annual South by Southwest film and music festival in Austin, Texas, some musicians from Mali were on hand to promote a film about how their lives were upturned by jihadists who destroyed ancient treasures in the city of Timbuktu and prohibited anyone from playing music under threat of death. As VOA’s Greg Flakus reports from Austin, some are afraid to return to their hometowns even though the jihadists are no longer in control there.
Video

Video Film Tells Story of Musicians in Mali Threatened by Jihadists

At this year's annual South by Southwest film and music festival in Austin, Texas, some musicians from Mali were on hand to promote a film about how their lives were upturned by jihadists who destroyed ancient treasures in the city of Timbuktu and prohibited anyone from playing music under threat of death. As VOA’s Greg Flakus reports from Austin, some are afraid to return to their hometowns even though the jihadists are no longer in control there.
Video

Video With Coalition Airstrikes, Iraq Entering 'Last Page' of IS Battle

American warplanes joined Iraq's battle against the so-called 'Islamic State' in northern Iraq late Wednesday, as Iraqi ground troops launched a massive assault on Tikrit. Analysts say the offensive could take the coalition a step further towards Mosul, the largest city held by Islamic State forces. Others say it could also deepen already-dangerous sectarian tensions in the region. VOA's Heather Murdock has more from Cairo.
Video

Video Philippines Wants Tourists Spending Money at New Casinos

Tourism is a multi-billion dollar industry in the Philippines. Close to five million foreign visitors traveled there last year, perhaps lured by the country’s tropical beaches. But Jason Strother reports from Manila that the country hopes to entice more travelers to stay indoors and spend money inside new casinos.
Video

Video Civilian Casualties Push Men to Join Rebels in Ukraine

The continued fighting in eastern Ukraine and the shelling of civilian neighborhoods seem to be pushing more men to join the separatist fighters. Many of the new recruits are residents of Ukraine made bitter by new grievances, as well as old. VOA's Patrick Wells reports.
Video

Video Islamic State Prisoners Talk of Curiosity, God, Regret

Islamic State fighter, a prisoner of Kurdish YPG forces, asked his family asking for forgiveness: "I destroyed myself and I destroyed them along with me." The Syrian youth was one of two detainees who spoke to VOA’s Kurdish Service about the path they chose; their names have been changed and identifying details obscured. VOA's Zana Omer reports.
Video

Video Germanwings Findings Raise Issue of Psychological Testing for Pilots

More is being discovered about the co-pilot in the crash of Germanwings Flight 9525 in the French Alps. Investigators say he was hiding a medical condition, raising questions about the mental qualifications of pilots. VOA's Carolyn Presutti reports.
Video

Video Hi-tech Motorbike Helmet's Goal: Improve Road Safety

In cities with heavily congested traffic, people can get around much faster on a motorcycle than in a car. But a rider who is not sure of his route may have to stop to look at the map or consult a GPS. A Russian start-up company is working to make navigation easier for motorcyclists. Designers at Moscow-based LiveMap are developing a smart helmet with a built-in navigation system, head-mounted display and voice recognition. Zlatica Hoke has more.
Video

Video DOJ: Illinois National Guard Soldier Tried to Join ISIS

U.S. federal law enforcement agents arrested two suburban Chicago men accused of trying to join ISIS overseas, while also plotting attacks in the United States. As VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports from the Midwest state of Illinois, one of those arrested is a soldier of the Illinois National Guard.
Video

Video New Wheelchair Is Easier to Use, Increases Mobility

Traditional push-rim wheelchairs create a lot of stress for arm, shoulder and neck muscles and joints. A redesigned chair, based on readily available bicycle technology, radically increases mobility while reducing the physical effort. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video Liberia's Almost Last Ebola Patient Grateful but Still Grieving

Beatrice Yardolo was to make history as Liberia’s last Ebola patient. Liberians recently started counting down 42 days, the period that has to go by without a single new infection until the World Health Organization can declare a country Ebola-free. That countdown stopped on March 20 when there was another new case of Ebola, making Yardolo’s story a reminder that Ebola is far from over. Benno Muchler reports from Monrovia.
Video

Video Cambodian Land Grabs Threaten Traditional Communities

Indigenous communities in Cambodia's Ratanakiri province say the government’s economic land concession policy is taking away their land and traditional way of life, making many fear that their identity will soon be lost. Local authorities, though, have denied this is the case. VOA's Say Mony went to investigate and filed this report, narrated by Colin Lovett.
Video

Video Space Program Status Disappoints 'Last Man on the Moon'

One of the films that drew big crowds last week at the annual South by Southwest festival in Austin, Texas, tells the story of the last human being to stand on the moon, U.S. astronaut Eugene Cernan. It has been 42 years since Cernan returned from the moon and he laments that no one else has gone there since. VOA’s Greg Flakus reports.

VOA Blogs

Circumventing Censorship

An Internet Primer for Healthy Web Habits

As surveillance and censoring technologies advance, so, too, do new tools for your computer or mobile device that help protect your privacy and break through Internet censorship.
More