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Meat Scandal in China Escalates: Officials Detain Five

A McDonald's in Shanghai.
A McDonald's in Shanghai.
Photo: Getty

Five people have been placed under criminal detention for allowing expired meat to be sold to major chain restaurants — including McDonald's, KFC, Starbucks, and Burger King — in China. This past weekend Shanghai-based news channel Dragon TV aired an investigative report about Shanghai Husi Food Co., LTD, a supplier that "repacked old beef and chicken and put new expiration dates on them." The expired meat was then sold to Chinese outlets of major American chains. According to Reuters, the persons detained by the Shanghai police include the head of of the company and the "firm's quality manager." Details regarding the other three detained have not been revealed yet.

Representatives for Husi said the company was "appalled by the report" and that they would cooperate with the investigation by Shanghai's food and drug administration. According to the Wall Street Journal, the investigation revealed that Husi kept "multiple sets of records enabling it to resell expired meat." According to a local news report (translated), a quality control manager told investigators that management "had approved adding expired meat into the production of chicken nuggets, beef patties, and other frozen fast food products" and that the "policy had been in place for years."

Since the news broke, many chains have quickly pulled all possible expired products from their kitchens and storage facilities. McDonald's has "sealed 4,500 cases of beef, pork, chicken, and other products supplied by Husi for investigation." KFC and Pizza Hut note that they are conducting their own investigation into the situation and Burger King and Starbucks have stopped serving products from Husi. The investigation is ongoing.

· Five Held in China Food Scandal Probe [Reuters]
· China Detains Five in Food-Safety Investigation [WSJ]
· McDonald's and Other Vendors Affected [QQ]
· All China Coverage on Eater [-E-]