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China is in the midst of a huge food safety scandal as a Shanghai meat supplier was caught by a local TV channel supplying expired meat as well as meat that had fallen on the floor to fast food chains such as McDonald’s, Burger King and KFC.
Shanghai-based Dragon TV took hidden camera footage at Husi Food Co’s meat-packing facilities and the footage has shocked the nation. Workers at Husi Food Co. were caught on camera using out-of-date chicken and beef to make burger patties and chicken products for McDonald’s and KFC. The workers then covered their tracks by placing new expiration date stickers on the meat. If that wasn’t bad enough, factory workers were also shown to be willfully disregarding hygiene by throwing meat that had fallen on the dirty factory floor back into the processing machines.
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The scandal, which began on Sunday and has now snowballed into a full-scale national issue, has set Chinese social media alight as well as dominating the front pages of Chinese newspapers and television news. Tuesday saw further fuel added to the fire when it was discovered that Husi Food Co. supplied Papa John’s Pizza, Burger King and Starbucks and even McDonald’s in Japan — which admitted that 20 percent of the meat for its Chicken Nuggets came from the scandal-hit Chinese factory.
The Chinese government quickly moved to seal off Husi Food Co.’s factory as it looked to limit the damage in the face of a baying public. The Chinese Food and Drug Administration (CFDA) announced that as well as a thorough investigation at Husi Food Co., they would send food safety offices to meat facilities and livestock farms in five provinces in central, eastern and southern China. The CFDA also released a statement on its website that said food safety violations would be “severely punished.”
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Husi Food Co. is owned by Aurora, Illinois-based OSI Group and the company released a statement on Monday saying: “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.”
China is no stranger to food, drink and drug safety scares. In 2008, a tainted baby milk powder scandal that caused the death of six infants and the hospitalization of 54,000 babies led to two milk company executives being executed.
Watch the report that started the scandal.
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