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​McDonald’s Japan halts Chinese supplies after rotten meat scandal

Published time: July 25, 2014 16:10
Sales clerks of fast food chain McDonald's serve meals to customers at a Tokyo shop. (AFP Photo / Yoshikazu Tsuno)

Sales clerks of fast food chain McDonald's serve meals to customers at a Tokyo shop. (AFP Photo / Yoshikazu Tsuno)

McDonald’s restaurants in Japan have stopped selling products that use chicken sourced in China. It comes after a scandal involving a Shanghai factory which supplied expired meat products to global fast food chains.

Over 3,000 food restaurants in Japan have followed McDonald’s example and withdrawn Chinese supplies. The restaurant chain has switched suppliers from the US-owned OSI Group, the parent company of Shanghai Husi which is involved in the scandal, to distributors in Thailand in order "to address the concerns of our customers."

"We made this decision in view of the growing concern over McDonald's chicken products made in China," AFP quotes the Japanese unit's chief executive Sarah Casanova.

Eight dishes including Chicken McNuggets and Chicken Fillet-O sold in Japan are affected. The fast food chain's Hong Kong unit said in a statement it suspended all sourcing from the Shanghai firm's other plants in May.

"There was no product from Shanghai Husi being sold to our customers," it added.

The investigation started after a Chinese TV channel showed workers at Shanghai Husi Food picking up meat from the factory floor, mixing expired meat with fresh, and then repackaging for use in fast food products.

More than 1,000 tons of meat products from OSI in China as well as 100 tons of meat delivered to a range of customers have been seized by the Shanghai food watchdog.

On Wednesday Chinese police detained five people connected with the food supplier including the head of the company and a quality supervisor.

Among the major customers of Husi Food affected are: Starbucks, Burger King, McDonald's and Yum Brands, the parent company of KFC and Pizza Hut in China.