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Chicken nuggets off Hong Kong McDonald's menu after expired meat scandal at Chinese supplier

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An "Out of Stock" sticker is displayed on a menu picture of chicken nuggets at a McDonald's store in Hong Kong Friday, July 25, 2014. McDonald's restaurants in Hong Kong have taken chicken nuggets and chicken filet burgers off the menu after a U.S.-owned supplier in mainland China was accused of selling expired meat. (AP Photo/Kin Cheung)

HONG KONG - McDonald's restaurants in Hong Kong have taken chicken nuggets and chicken filet burgers off the menu after a U.S.-owned supplier in mainland China was accused of selling expired meat.

The fast food chain said late Thursday that it "suspended relevant food ingredients" at Hong Kong outlets in light of the scandal surrounding Shanghai Husi Food Co.

Chinese authorities detained five Husi employees after a TV station reported last weekend that the company repackaged and sold meat past its use-by date. Investigators have seized hundreds of tons of material but haven't yet confirmed finding expired meat.

McDonald's in Hong Kong said it stopped serving nuggets and McSpicy chicken filet burgers, which were made with meat from a Husi factory in Hebei province, not the Shanghai factory at the centre of the initial allegations against the company.

But the chain also said that records showed its restaurants have previously used meat imported from Shanghai Husi, including pork from July 2013 to February 2014 and thigh patties for chicken filet burgers in May and June. All the meat in those two batches conformed to Hong Kong safety standards and were sold to customers, with none left in stock, the company said in a statement.

McDonald's is also halting the sale in Hong Kong of green salad, chicken salad, lemon tea and fresh corn cup because they used fruits and vegetables from another Husi factory in southern Guangzhou province.

The government of Hong Kong, a semiautonomous Chinese territory, said that imports of Husi products would be suspended as the investigation on the mainland continued and local food safety inspectors carried out their own tests.

McDonald's Corp. restaurants in mainland China had already withdrawn products made with meat from Husi, which is owned by Aurora, Illinois-based OSI Group. So have other chains including KFC and Pizza Hut, which are owned by Yum Brands Inc., pizza chain Papa John's International Inc., Starbucks Corp., Burger King Corp. and Taiwan sandwich chain Dicos.

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Online: www.mcdonalds.com.hk

Follow Kelvin Chan at twitter.com/chanman

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