CHINA - Authorities nationwide were busy sealing products in fast food restaurants on Tuesday after a major Shanghai supplier reportedly mixed expired meat into its products.
The China Food and Drug Administration said on Monday night that it had asked authorities across the country to check companies that use products from Shanghai Husi Food Co.
Shanghai has sealed about 100 metric tons of products made by the company, including fried chicken, steak, hamburger and pork, the city government said on Tuesday. The products have gone to nine companies including McDonald's, Pizza Hut, Burger King, Papa John's and Dicos.
Zhang Jian, an inspection official with the food and drug administration of Nanjing, Jiangsu province, said Pizza Hut and McDonald's in the city used products supplied by Shanghai Husi Food, and the local McDonald's stores have taken 18 kinds of products off the shelf and sealed them. The products ranged from hamburger, chicken and pork to tomato, lettuce, cucumber and onion.
An official in the Food and Drug Administration of Hefei, Anhui province, who declined to be identified, said that by 10 pm on Monday more than 1,070 bags of steak had been sealed in 13 Pizza Hut restaurants and 378 boxes of products, including meat and vegetables, had been sealed in 15 McDonald's outlets.
Hebei is sample testing 15 batches of products.
Guangdong province said on Tuesday that the Guangzhou logistics centre of Yum! Brands - which owns KFC and Pizza Hut - has sealed more than 13,000 kilograms of processed meat.
The China Food and Drug Administration asked local authorities to do an "immediate and overall" inspection on Shanghai Husi Food's sister companies in China. Husi is owned by US-based OSI Group.
The group said on its website that it has set up companies to produce or process meat and vegetables in Hebei, Henan, Shandong, Yunnan, Guangdong and Fujian provinces.
Inspectors have tested all products kept in storage by two food companies owned by OSI in Weihai, Shandong province, and no violations were found, the Food and Drug Administration of Shandong said.
Hebei province also said it hasn't found any violations by a local food processor.
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Wang Hongyi in Shanghai, Zhao Ruixue in Jinan and Zhang Yu in Shijiazhuang contributed to this story.
Restaurants that have used products from Shanghai Husi Food Co Ltd
A number of fast food restaurant chains are clients of food producer OSI's subsidiary in Shanghai, but food authorities had not released a list of the company's clients by Monday evening. Following are responses from some of the fast food restaurants in China that have been accused of using outdated food from the company.
McDonald's said on Sunday night that it had informedall franchises in the country to stop using or selling the questionable products and keep all the meat from Shanghai Husi Food Co. They have organised a professional team to investigate the case and will release the results as soon as possible.
A few Burger King products have meat from the Shanghai Husi FoodCo and all of them have been removed, the company said.
KFC and Pizza Hut
Yum! Brands, which manages KFC and Pizza Hut, said on Monday that it ordered all KFC and Pizza Hut franchises to stop using meat from Shanghai Husi Food Co and launched an investigation into OSI's subsidiary in Shanghai. It may lead to a shortage of two hamburgers sold at breakfast at some KFC outlets and a beefdish at Pizza Hut. Yum promised to resume supplies as soon as possible.
Starbucks said on Monday that only one product used chicken provided by Shanghai Husi Food Co, adding that this product has been sold in only 12 provinces. All the outlets in these
areas have stopped selling that product.
Dicos confirmed on Monday that it was supplied by Shanghai HusiFood Co, and said it has required all outlets to seal up all meatproduced by the company and stop selling one kind of breakfastsandwich. It also launched an investigation into OSI'ssubsidiary in Shanghai and related companies to guaranteefood safety.
Scandal continues to spread
The latest food scandal in China is spreading fast, dragging in US coffee chain Starbucks, Burger King Worldwide and others, as well as McDonald's products as far away as Japan.
On Tuesday, Starbucks said some of its cafes previously sold products containing chicken from Shanghai Husi Food Co, which was suspected of using expired meat and was shut down on Sunday by local regulators. A Tokyo-based spokesman for McDonald's said the company had sourced about a fifth of its Chicken McNuggets from Shanghai Husi Food, a subsidiary of US-based OSI Group, and had halted sales of the product on Monday. Alternative supplies of chicken have been found in Thailand and China, he added.
Fast food chain Dicos, China's third-ranked fast food chain, owned by Ting Hsin International, said it would remove Shanghai Husi Food products from their outlets.
"We will continue to carry out a probe into Shanghai Husi Food and its related firms, to understand whether or not it followed national regulations," Dicos said in a statement.
Burger King and Papa John's International also said they have taken products from Shanghai Husi Food off their shelves and are investigating the matter.