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McDonald's Won't Cut Ties with Chinese Meat Supplier

Photo: dailin/Shutterstock

Shanghai Husi Food Co. is under fire for selling expired meat to Chinese locations of American chains like Starbucks, Burger King, and McDonald's, but while other chains are conducting independent investigations into what happened, it appears McD's is pulling a Tammy Wynette. The Wall Street Journal reports McDonald's will stand by its longtime provider, electing to use meat from Husi Food Co.'s other Chinese factories. The vote of confidences comes despite the fact that five Husi Food Co. employees have been placed under criminal detention for knowingly repackaging and reselling expired meat, often incorporating it into processed items like chicken nuggets. When the scandal broke earlier this week, McDonald's itself "sealed 4,500 cases of beef, pork, chicken, and other products supplied by Husi for investigation."

But as the WSJ notes, the fast-food giant's decision to stick with the supplier comes thanks to its ties with the Illinois-based OSI Group. OSI, which owns Husi Food Co., Ltd., has been suppling stateside McDonald's with beef since 1955, when it was a mom-and-pop operation known as Otto & Sons. Yum Brands (which owns KFC and Pizza Hut) has already said it will "sever ties" with the supplier in China, but OSI tells the WSJ it's confident it can turn things around: "We will not walk away from this issue but we are committed to resolving it."

· McDonald's Stand by Meat Supplier in Crisis [WSJ]
· All Shanghai Husi Food Co. Coverage on Eater [-E-]