McDonald's Hong Kong halts nuggets sales in meat scandal

Authorities shut down McDonald's supplier, US-owned Husi Food Company, for mixing expired meat with fresh product. The fast food chain in Hong Kong has suspended sales of several items. Photo / AFP
Authorities shut down McDonald's supplier, US-owned Husi Food Company, for mixing expired meat with fresh product. The fast food chain in Hong Kong has suspended sales of several items. Photo / AFP

McDonald's Hong Kong has suspended sales of chicken nuggets and several other items after admitting it imported food from a US-owned firm in China at the centre of an expired meat scandal.

The fast-food chain announced it had halted sales of nuggets, chicken burgers, salads and lemon tea as Hong Kong's Centre for Food Safety on Thursday ordered the suspension of all imports from the Husi Food Company, a subsidiary of US food supplier OSI Group.

"Food from Husi that has been imported and now stored in Hong Kong should no longer be supplied to consumers. They will be marked and sealed by our staff," centre assistant director Lee Siu-yuen said on RTHK radio.

Shanghai authorities on Sunday shut a Husi plant for mixing out-of-date meat with fresh product, re-labelling expired goods and other quality problems, following an investigative report by a local television station.

The factory's other customers in China included restaurant operator Yum's Pizza Hut brand, coffee chain Starbucks, Burger King, 7-Eleven convenience stores and Papa John's Pizza, according to separate statements from the companies.

McDonald's Japan has also confirmed it sourced about 20 per cent of its McNuggets from the Shanghai factory.

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McDonald's Hong Kong said on its website it had sourced chicken, beef, salad items and lemons from two other Husi factories.

RTHK said Hong Kong officials had taken several hundred samples from McDonald's warehouse for checks but had not found any suspect meat.

China has been rocked by a series of food and product safety problems due to lax enforcement of regulations and corner-cutting by producers.

One of the worst incidents occurred in 2008 when the industrial chemical melamine was found to have been illegally added to dairy products, killing at least six babies and making 300,000 people ill.

- AFP

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