McDONALDS, Burger King, KFC and Starbucks in China and Japan were engulfed by a meat scandal today as Chinese authorities investigated their supplier Husi Food Co.
The China Food and Drug Administration closed down Husi’s Shanghai food processing plant on Monday after allegations that its products were past their sell-by date.
McDonalds in Japan said that the Chinese supplier, which is owned by the OSI Group of Aurora, US, had provided 20 per cent of the meat for its chicken nuggets.
The food agency announced that inspectors would look at Husi facilities and meat sources in five provinces in central, eastern and southern China.
Food safety violations would be “severely punished,” it warned.
Starbucks said yesterday that it had removed from its shelves sandwiches made with chicken that originated at Husi.
Burger King said that it had ceased using hamburger mince from a middle-man that bought from Husi, while pizza restaurant chain Papa John’s International announced a halt on buying meat from Husi.
McDonalds in Japan stopped selling McNuggets at more than 1,300 outlets that used Husi-supplied chicken. The company said that the Shanghai firm had been supplying chicken since 2002.
Shanghai broadcaster Dragon TV blew the whistle on Sunday, saying that Husi repackaged old beef and chicken and put new expiry dates on them.
This dodgy meat was then sold to McDonald’s, KFC and Pizza Hut restaurants, prompting a panic response from them.
Taiwanese-owned chain Dicos also reported having stopped buying meat from Husi.