China’s Dragon TV has thrust a Chicago-area meat supplier into the arms of its crisis communications team with public apologies and promises for quick corrective action. But Aurora, IL-based OSI Group could not act fast enough to stop McDonald’s and Yum! Brands Inc.’s KFC from cutting business ties with its Shanghai Husi Food Co. Ltd.
Late Sunday, the Shanghai Municipal Food and Drug Administration shut Shanghai Husi down.
Dragon TV’s aired report purportedly shows workers at Shanghai Husi picking up meat from the factory floor as well as mixing meat beyond its expiration date with fresh meat. Workers were also recorded as saying that customers would not buy the company’s products if they knew what was going on.
Both McDonald’s and KFC used Shanghai Husi as a meat supplier.
OSI, with a presence in 10 cities in China, issued a statement on its website saying that it was “appalled by the report” and promising to deal with the issue “directly and quickly.” It also noted that food safety is “the cornerstone of our company and our guiding principal.”
The company, formed more than a century ago as a Chicago meat market, promised to conduct its own investigation and to share results with the public.
The new food safety scare caused both McDonald’s and Yum! Brands to drop Shanghai as a meat supplier. Shanghai Husi Food Co. Ltd. is a major supplier to Shanghai-area restaurants, according to the two U.S.-based companies.
Yum! Brands said it will not tolerate any supplier violating government laws or regulations and that all of its KFCs and Pizza Hut restaurants in China were under orders to seal up and stop using any product from Shanghai Husi.
The practices show in the Dragon TV report “are completely unacceptable to McDonald’s anywhere in the world,” a spokesman said. McDonalds was supplied with chicken, beef and lettuce from Shanghai Husi. China is the fast-food chain’s third-largest market in the world.
The U.S. companies were on the rebound from recent food safety scandals, including 2012 disclosures about excessive antibiotic use by companies contracted to supply chicken.
Both New York Stock Exchange companies saw market declines on Monday, with Yum! shares down 3.5 percent to $74.72 and McDonald’s shares down 0.9 percent to $98.13.© Food Safety News