Chinese meat scandal widens

Workers produce food at the Shanghai Husi Food Co., owned by OSI Group of Aurora, Ill.
(STR, AFPGetty Images)

Burger King and Starbucks said their Chinese stores have stopped using meat from a supplier that local media accused of selling expired chicken and beef.

As the latest food scandal in China deepened, the companies said in statements Tuesday that  they launched investigations after hearing of the allegations against Shanghai Husi Food Co., owned by OSI Group of Aurora, Ill.

The Shanghai Food and Drug Administrationclosed the food supplier’s plant there, after Dragon TV on Sunday reported workers took old beef and chicken and repackaged it with fresh expiration dates.

The China Food and Drug Administration has ordered an investigation into all the company’s food factories in five Chinese provinces, the Official New China News Agency reported Tuesday.


On Monday, McDonald’s Corp. and Yum Brands Inc., which owns KFC and Pizza Hut, said they stopped using meat from the supplier and that they have launched their own investigations.

McDonald’s, in a statement Tuesday, said Husi also provided meat to roughly 20% of its Japanese restaurants, in addition to about 25% of its restaurants in China.

“We are no longer serving product from the facility,” the company said in a statement.  “This matter is being thoroughly investigated by the Chinese authorities and we are cooperating fully with them.”

Starbucks said a chicken sandwich available in some of its Chinese markets included meat that originally came from Husi. The company said it immediately removed the sandwich from its shelves. Burger King also said it stopped using meat from Husi.


OSI Group, in a statement, said it was “appalled” by the local TV report and that it is conducting its own investigation. It called the alleged problem at its subsidiary an “isolated” event.

Twitter: @khouriandrew

Get our weekly Business newsletter

A look back, and ahead, at the latest California business news.

You may occasionally receive promotional content from the Los Angeles Times.