By Jean-Paul McDonald, Farms.com
China has closed down a factory of a U.S. food provider, Illinois-based meat producer, OSI Group, for selling expired meat to restaurant giants including: McDonalds’s, KFC and Pizza Hut outlets.
The allegations of the reported meat scandal were first reported on Shanghai television, which said that workers at the OSI China plant took old meat and mixed it with fresh products, knowingly fooling plant inspectors from McDonald’s.
Chinese officials put a stop to factory operations on Monday and seized the expired meat products, according to a release from the Shanghai food and drug administration.
The statement says that police are investigating the incident and noted that there could be “severe punishment” in the future.
One of the food chains at the centre of the expired meat case, McDonald’s, said in a release that it had “immediately” stopped buying the plant’s meat products until an investigation into the incident had been conducted. In separate statements, KFC and Pizza Hut said they have also halted meat purchases from the processor in question.
China has been in hot water in the past with a series of food and tainted food issues, often due to poor oversight and enforcement of food safety regulations. Perhaps most notably was in 2008 when melamine, an industrial chemical, was found in dairy products - killing half a dozen babies and causing 300,000 others to fall ill.
Earlier this year, U.S.-based Walmart said it would tighten inspections of its suppliers in China after its donkey meat products had been found to contain traces of fox.