McDonald’s and KFC Sold Expired Meat by China Supplier

KFC and McDonald’s in China facing another scare related to food safety on Monday after a television station in Shanghai reported that a food supplier sold the two companies expired chicken and beef.

The companies announced that they would immediately stop using all meat from Husi Food Co., Ltd. Authorities, said Xinhua News, the official news agency ordered operations by the supplier to be suspended and were going to start an investigation.

On Sunday, Dragon TV said Husi, which is owned by the OSI Group from Aurora, Illinois, repackaged old chicken and beef and put new dates of expiration on the packages. The television station also said the meat was sold to Pizza Hut, KFC and McDonald’s restaurants.

The report was just another in a series of scares over food safety in China which have battered the confidence of the public in fast food restaurants, dairies and other kinds of suppliers.

Yum Brands, which owns Taco Bell, Pizza Hut and KFC and McDonald’s Corp, said in two individual statements they were carrying out their own individual investigations.

The official Chinese news agency, Xinhua News said a Husi manager by the name of Yang Liqun said the company has strict guidelines for control systems and will be cooperating fully with the investigation.

In China, KFC is the largest restaurant chain with over 4,000 outlets. The company said it plans to open another 700 during 2014. KFC was hurt badly after China television reported in December of 2013 that some suppliers of poultry violated drug use rules in chicken.

Yum Brands said sales at its KFC inside China plummeted 37% a month later. The company launched its own effort to tighten the control over the quality of its products and eliminated over 1,000 small producers of poultry from its network of suppliers.

China has gone through a series of scandals regarding products over the past 10 years in which hospital patients, infants and others were killed by adulterated or phony drugs, milk powder and other types of goods.

Foreign brands of fast food are seen as being more reliable than competitors in China are, though local brands are making needed improvements continuously in their quality.

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