Fast Food Items Pulled from Menus in China After Meat Scandal

b_250_0_16777215_00_images_obgrabber_2014-07_d52f6080d5.jpgJustin Sullivan/Getty Images (BEIJING) -- McNuggets and other popular items are disappearing from menus at McDonalds, KFC and other fast food restaurants in China after a major supplier of beef, chicken and pork was shut down for allegedly violating numerous safety regulations, including mixing in chicken and beef parts that were months beyond their expiration date. Shanghai Husi Food Company has been shuttered this week after a TV report captured footage of the alleged violations.

The company supplies meat and chicken to McDonald’s, Burger King, Papa Johns and Yum Brands, the owner of KFC and Pizza Hut, in China.

Following the TV report, the China Food and Drug Administration announced on its website that it had shut down Shanghai Husi Food. In addition, inspectors would look at processing sites and meat sources in five other provinces and would “severely punish” violators.

Shanghai Husi Food is owned by OSI Group, an Illinois-based food-processing company. According to their website, the company has been supplying McDonald’s in China for 22 years and Yum Brands for six years.

The video footage captured by Dragon TV showed workers touching meat with ungloved hands, picking up meat from the factory floor and throwing it back to the processor. The report also showed workers mixing two weeks out-of-date chicken meat into fresh meat to make Chicken McNuggets. It showed the workers using frozen beef that was allegedly seven months beyond its expiration date, reportedly already green and odorous.

McDonald’s and Yum Brands have released statements saying they had stopped using meat from Shanghai Husi Food and started investigations. Both companies apologized to the public.

The statements also said their restaurants may face a shortage of certain products. Yum Brands identified its KFC sausage and egg burger and a spicy roasted burger. McDonald’s did not specify any products.

Starbucks has removed its chicken and apple paninis from cafes in Shanghai because the meat came from Shanghai Husi Food, Starbucks said.

The company also supplies fast food chains in Japan, and McDonalds has taken McNuggets off the menu of its 1,700 restaurants in Japan.

OSI Group released a statement on its official website apologizing and stating that the company believes the health violations to be an isolated event, but it said it took full responsibility for the situation. The statement said the company has formed an investigation team and is cooperating with the government agencies.

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