Tuesday, July 22, 2014

China: Husi Food Co. in Shanghai Supplying Food to McDonald's, KFC, Pizza Hut Shut Down

According to AFP, a Chinese supplier to fast-food chains McDonald’s, KFC and Pizza Hut has been closed down by health officials following a television report that accused the firm of selling expired meat, officials said on Monday (July 21).

The Husi Food Co.’s facilities in the eastern city of Shanghai were closed and an investigation is being conducted, a municipal health official told EFE.

Both McDonald’s and Yum! Brands, the parent company of KFC and Pizza Hut, apologized in a statement.

Yum said some products might not be available for awhile in China due to the suspension of purchases from Husi.

COMMENT: Dragon TV reported over the weekend that Husi systematically falsified the expiration dates of meat sold to the fast-food chains.

The Shanghai channel aired video showing a worker at a Husi plant picking up ground meat from the floor and throwing it into the processing machine.

The channel also revealed how McNuggets chicken pieces discarded in the wake of routine inspections by officials were being reprocessed repeatedly.

Dragon TV made public an internal e-mail sent by Husi management to employees demanding that the expiration date of 10 tons of frozen beef be extended.

The meat smelled bad and was greenish in color, but it was still reprocessed, refrozen and repacked with a new expiration date.

Husi is the Chinese unit of OSI Group, a food-processing conglomerate based in Aurora, IL.

Husi, which processes some 25,000 tons of food per year, received a food safety award in early 2014 in the Shanghai suburban district of Jiading, where one of the company’s main plants is located.

Food scandals are common in China, where KFC’s restaurants in Shanghai were accused in 2012 of buying chicken with excessive antibiotics levels for two years despite being aware of the problem.