McDonald’s has removed its chicken nuggets and chicken burgers from menus in Hong Kong, after a Chinese supplier was found to be taking poultry that had gone off, re-processing the meat, and serving it up for consumption.
The move comes after the Shanghai Husi Food company, which supplies chicken and pork to McDonald’s, was exposed in a Chinese TV report last week. Staff from the food company were showed using long-expired meat, made worse by scenes of workers picking food up from the floor to be added into the mix.
China has suspended the operations of Shanghai Husi, which is owned by the Illinois-based OSI Group, following the report. Five employees have been arrested in connection with the allegations while an on-going investigation takes place.
As a result, McDonald’s has stopped the sale of chicken nuggets, McSpicy chicken filets, chicken and green salads, fresh corn cups and iced lemon tea. The additional items come from the fast-food chain stating that it had also stopped using ingredients from the Guangzhou branch of the Husi company, which included lettuce, corn kernels, lemon slices, green salad, cucumber, onion and tomato.
McDonald’s said: “We reiterate that until today, all the food sold at McDonald’s restaurants conform to the food safety standard under Hong Kong legal regulations.”
Both McDonald’s and the Yum! company, which owns the KFC and Pizza Hut brands and operates in the territory, apologised to Chinese consumers on Monday, while Starbucks admitted that one of its suppliers had bought chicken from the Husi company and subsequently removed one of its own chicken products.
A fifth of the fast-food restaurant’s chicken products in Japan were also sourced through the Shanghai Husi company. These sales were halted on Monday and nearly 500 McDonald’s restaurants in the country have removed chicken nuggets from the menu.
McDonald's meals around the world
McDonald's meals around the world
1/14 Black and White burger, served in China, Hong Kong and Taiwan
The black burger contains beef and onion topped with black pepper sauce, while the white burger contains chicken with lettuce and a spicy sauce
2/14 McCurry Pan, served in India
A bread bowl filled with chicken curry
3/14 McBaguette, served in France
Baked in a ciabatta roll and topped with emmental cheese
4/14 McLobster, served in Canada
Only served in summer...
5/14 Shrimp burger, served in Japan
Prawn-filled burger topped with thousand island sauce
6/14 Das Nürnburger, served in Germany
Three Bratwurst sausages served with mustard inside a soft white bun
7/14 Prosperity Burger, served in Malaysia
Meat, meat, meat, onions and black pepper sauce
8/14 Chicken Maharaja Mac, served in India
9/14 Cheese Fondue (left) and Carbonara Burger (right)
Served only in Japan
10/14 Pasta Zoo
Australia and New Zealand's take on the Happy Meal
11/14 Deluxe Breakfast roll, served in Australia
With bacon, hash brown an egg and spicy tomato
Found in all good McEuropean restaurants
13/14 McAloo Tikki, served in India
14/14 Kiwi stick, served in Italy
McDonald’s made the ban on Shanghai Husi’s products at its restaurants after Hong Kong’s food safety regulator suspended all imports from the company.
Food authorities said that any products found from the Husi company that had already been imported in to Hong Kong would be marked up and sealed off. Any of these products found are banned from sale until the results of the investigation are announced by authorities.
The scandal marks another blow for McDonald’s and Yum! in a market that is hyper-sensitive to food scandals; both chains were hit by a food scare in China in 2012, while in 2008 a food scandal in China, not connected to the fast-food restaurants, saw dairy products contaminated with the industrial chemical melamine, leaving thousands sick and which killed six children.