Starbucks engulfed in China meat scandal after it confirms 'contaminated chicken' sandwich

McDonald's, Pizza Hut and KFC have also been hit by the scandal after admitting to using meat from supplier Husi Food

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The Independent Online

Coffee giant Starbucks has been dragged into the latest food scandal to hit China after it confirmed some of its chicken products were contaminated.

The coffee chain said it used chicken from Shanghai Husi Food Co, a meat supplier at the centre of an ongoing food scare scandal, for its "Chicken Apple Sauce Panini" sandwich that was sold in 13 different provinces and major cities in China.

In a statement on its Weibo social media account, Starbucks said it had no direct business links with Husi, but confirmed that its supplier had purchased chicken from Husi and sold it to the coffee chain, adding that it has removed the sandwich from its Chinese cafes.

Husi, which is owned by Illinois-based OSI Group, has come under intense scrutiny after Chinese food safety regulators suspended its operations and ordered its products to be recalled on Monday amid allegations that it sold rotten meat to its international clients in China.

Starbucks's announcement comes shortly after fast food giant McDonald's and Yum! Brands, which owns KFC and Pizza Hut, admitted they had used Husi meat and apologised to its Chinese clients.

McDonald's also said it had stopped selling McNuggets made using Husi chicken at more than 1,300 outlets in Japan. Burger King and American pizza chain Papa Johns also moved to reassure its clients about their hygiene standards in the country, insisting that they will stop using Husi meat.

On Sunday, Shanghai-based Dragon TV aired an undercover report which showed Husi employees picking up chicken from the floor and reprocessing what appeared to be rotten meat that was later sold with a fake expiry date.

In a statement, Husi said it was appalled by the footage adding: "Our company management believes this to be an isolated event, but takes full responsibility for the situation and will take appropriate actions swiftly and comprehensively."