Local authorities in China have rushed to seal up suspicious meat products in fast food chains, including McDonald's and KFC, after one of their suppliers was accused of selling stale meat.
The move came in response to media and public outcry after a Shanghai TV station exposed Shanghai Husi Food Co., Ltd., a supplier to a string of fast food brands, including McDonald's and Yum Brands Inc., for selling adulterated products with rotten meat and meat beyond its expiration date.
The expose prompted Shanghai authorities to suspend production at Shanghai Husi, a unit of US-based OSI Group, on Sunday, while cities and provinces across China on Monday moved to seal Husi supplies at local fast food chains.
The food and drug administration of Chengdu, capital of Sichuan Province, sealed 9.6 tonnes of Husi products at warehouses and outlets of McDonald's, KFC and Dicos, a Chinese chain owned by Taiwan's Ting Hsin International Group.
Hangzhou, capital of Zhejiang Province, also sealed 1.77 tonnes of beef steaks and over 6 tonnes of chicken and pork products at KFC and Pizza Hut, both under Yum Brands, as well as McDonald's.
Officials in the two cities said the chains had voluntarily stopped selling the affected products and sealed their Husi supplies after the scandal broke out.
Other provincial-level regions, including Guangdong, Guangxi and Inner Mongolia, have also reported sealing the products and ordered companies to stop selling products supplied by Husi.
McDonald's said some of its restaurants might face a supply shortage in a statement released on Monday.
Shanghai-based Dragon TV aired a news program on Sunday exposing malpractice at Shanghai Husi.
The expose was another blow to Western fast food chains such as McDonald's and KFC, which have been implicated in a number of food safety scandals involving suppliers over the years.
China Food and Drug Administration on Monday ordered local authorities to investigate all food factories with investment from OSI Group in the provinces of Hebei, Shandong, Henan, Guangdong and Yunnan.
A new online poll is suggesting over two-thirds of all Chinese consumers no longer trust Western fast-food companies.
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