Subway is the latest brand of foreign fast food to become involved in China in a scandal over food safety.
This came after the sandwich chain based in the United States said it was carrying out an investigation of local media claims that its workers at a franchise in Beijing had altered the dates of expiration on certain food ingredients.
Subway markets itself overseas including in China as a healthy alternative to other traditional forms of fast food. However, it now joins competitors Yum’s KFC and McDonald’s in finding its brand reputation being called into question across the country due to allegations staff at the suppliers of its franchises used food beyond its date of expiration.
Media in China said one of the franchises for Subway in Beijing changed the production and expiration dates on vegetables, meat and drinks to extend the time they could be used.
Subway said on its website in China that the company was made aware of the claims and was investigating all of them.
Subway has 489 China franchises. It said it found no violations following a surprise launch of an inspection of the store after the reports from the media surfaced last Friday.
Subway added that it was questioning the affected staff at the franchise where it took place as well as the franchisee. The company told other franchises of Subway to inspect their operations more diligently.
Foreign fast food brands have for a long time enjoyed a reputation that was higher in China than many of the local brands, which at times face serious issues on food quality, such as the tainted infant powdered milk in 2008 that killed a half dozen babies and sickened thousands.
On Monday, state media in China reported that eight officials in the government’s eastern province of Jiangxi had been fired after a huge crackdown against illegal traded of diseased pigs.
Police raided a clandestine slaughterhouse and held 12 suspects in custody who were involved with the sale of unsafe pork.
Chinese television said that there had been some traders dealing in diseased pork for over a decade.
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