The Canadian Press - ONLINE EDITION

Chairman of US meat supplier apologizes for China subsidiary at centre of food scandal

  • Print

BEIJING, China - The chairman of an American meat supplier apologized Thursday for a Chinese subsidiary that is accused of selling expired beef and chicken to restaurants including McDonald's and KFC.

Fast food chains in China suspended use of products from Shanghai Husi Food Co. after a television station reported last weekend it repackaged and sold meat past its use-by date. Authorities launched an investigation and five Husi employees were detained Wednesday after China's food safety agency said illegal activity was organized by the company.

"What happened at Husi Shanghai is completely unacceptable. I will not try to and defend it or explain it," said Sheldon Lavin, chairman and chief executive of Aurora, Illinois-based OSI Group, which owns Husi Food.

"I sincerely apologize to all of our customers in China," Lavin said in a statement. "We will bear the responsibility of these missteps, and will make sure they never happen again."

Lavin said the company was sending "global experts" to work with staff in China.

Product safety is unusually sensitive in China following scandals over the past decade in which infants, hospital patients and others have been killed or sickened by phoney or adulterated milk powder, drugs and other goods.

Dragon TV in Shanghai reported Husi repackaged old beef and chicken and put new expiration dates on them. It said they were sold to McDonald's, KFC and Pizza Hut restaurants.

Employees including Husi Foods' quality manager were detained Wednesday by Shanghai police.

Government investigators have yet to confirm whether they have found expired meat. Authorities seized 160 tons of raw material and 1,100 tons of finished products from Husi.

The official Xinhua News Agency said the manager of Husi's quality department, Zhang Hui, told investigators "such meat had been produced under tacit approval of the company's senior managers." It said the company "has been conducting the malpractice for years."

In addition to KFC and Pizza Hut, which are owned by Yum Brands Inc., and McDonald's Corp., companies that have withdrawn products that used meat from Husi were pizza chain Papa John's International Inc., Starbucks Corp., Burger King Corp. and Dicos, a Taiwanese-owned sandwich shop chain.

Yum, based in Louisville, Kentucky, said Wednesday it was immediately ending "all procurement from OSI China." It said that OSI is not a major supplier for its restaurants in China and that it has arranged for alternative suppliers.

Yum also said it reserves the right to "take any and all legal action against OSI Group" based on the results of the investigation.

The scare also spread to Japan, where McDonald's said 20 per cent of the meat for its chicken nuggets was supplied by Husi.

___

Associated Press researcher Fu Ting in Shanghai contributed.

Fact Check

Fact Check

Have you found an error, or know of something we’ve missed in one of our stories?
Please use the form below and let us know.

* Required
  • Please post the headline of the story or the title of the video with the error.

  • Please post exactly what was wrong with the story.

  • Please indicate your source for the correct information.

  • Yes

    No

  • This will only be used to contact you if we have a question about your submission, it will not be used to identify you or be published.

  • Cancel

Having problems with the form?

Contact Us Directly
  • Print

You can comment on most stories on winnipegfreepress.com. You can also agree or disagree with other comments. All you need to do is be a Winnipeg Free Press print or e-edition subscriber to join the conversation and give your feedback.

You can comment on most stories on winnipegfreepress.com. You can also agree or disagree with other comments. All you need to do is be a Winnipeg Free Press print or e-edition subscriber to join the conversation and give your feedback.

Have Your Say

New to commenting? Check out our Frequently Asked Questions.

Have Your Say

Comments are open to Winnipeg Free Press print or e-edition subscribers only. why?

Have Your Say

Comments are open to Winnipeg Free Press Subscribers only. why?

The Winnipeg Free Press does not necessarily endorse any of the views posted. By submitting your comment, you agree to our Terms and Conditions. These terms were revised effective April 16, 2010.

letters

Make text: Larger | Smaller

LATEST VIDEO

J.P. Vigier’s Whiteboard: Coach Maurice’s first full season

View more like this

Photo Store Gallery

  • A young goose   reaches for long strands of grass Friday night near McGillvary Blvd-See Bryksa 30 Day goose challenge- Day 19 - May 23, 2012   (JOE BRYKSA / WINNIPEG FREE PRESS)
  • A female Mallard duck leads a group of duckings on a morning swim through the reflections in the Assiniboine River at The Forks Monday.     (WAYNE GLOWACKI/WINNIPEG FREE PRESS) Winnipeg Free Press  June 18 2012

View More Gallery Photos

Poll

Do you support Canada's involvement in the fight against Islamic State?

View Results

View Related Story

Ads by Google