China’s meat industry was recently dealt another blow as McDonald’s Japan announced plans to stop importing Chinese chicken for sale in its restaurants. According to The Guardian, the decision is a result of the recent food safety scandal centered around Shanghai-based Husi Foods (the Chinese arm of U.S.-based OSI Group), which is accused of repackaging and selling meat past its expiry date. In light of customer concerns around tainted meat from China, the company will now be sourcing mean for its eight chicken dishes from Thailand instead.
“We made this decision in view of the growing concern over McDonald’s chicken products made in China,” McDonalds Japan CEO, Sarah Casanova told The Guardian. In a similar move, McDonald’s restaurants in Hong Kong took chicken nuggets and burgers off their menus due to concerns about the meat from China, despite the fact that the company says it never used meat from the Shanghai factory in question. The Hong Kong government has also suspended imports of all products from Husi Foods.
Meanwhile, in China, government authorities have suspended all operations of Shanghai Husi Foods and taken five company employees into custody over the incident. At the same time, China’s Xinhua news agency reported that the manager of Husi’s quality department said the meat “had been produced under tacit approval of the company’s senior managers.” According to Xinhua, the food in question included 5,108 crates of meat products including McNuggets, pork patties and beef steaks made up of out-of-date or moldy materials meant to be sold not only to McDonald’s but also KFC, Pizza Hut, Burger King and 7-Eleven.