各大新闻社本周三报道称，在对麦当劳（McDonald’s Corp）、肯德基（KFC）母公司百胜餐饮集团（Yum Brands Inc.）以及星巴克（Starbucks）等连锁快餐肉类供应商的调查中，中国警方拘留了五名相关人士。
其中有涉及案件的上海福喜食品有限责任公司（Shanghai Husi Food Co. Ltd.）的领导。该公司是位于芝加哥的福喜集团（OSI Group）旗下公司。据新华社报道，福喜的质量部经理张晖在审讯中供认，公司“在高层领导的默许之下，多年来一直进行着违法生产。”
Chinese police have detained five people in an investigation into a supplier of meat to fast-food chains including McDonald’s Corp KFC parent Yum Brands Inc. and Starbucks , agencies reported Wednesday.
Those arrested include the head of the company concerned, Shanghai Husi Food Co. Ltd., which is owned by Chicago-based OSI Group. Chinese state-owned news agency Xinhua said that Zhang Hui, manager of Husi’s quality control department, had confessed during interrogation that the company “has been conducting the malpractice for years under tacit approval of senior managers.”
The scandal erupted at the end of last week after the network Dragon TV aired a documentary alleging that Shanghai Husi mixed expired meat with good meat and used meat salvaged from the floor in its shipments.
Reuters reported that Shanghai consumer protection authorities had sealed more than 1,000 tons of suspect produce from OSI in China, and another 100 tons of produce at selected customers.
OSI Group had said earlier this week it was “appalled” by the allegations, and is fully cooperating with the investigation.
“Our company believes this to be an isolated event, but takes full responsibility for the situation,” OSI said on its website.
Sheldon Lavin, OSI’s owner and chief executive, followed up with a statement Wednesday saying that what happened “is completely unacceptable.”
“I will not try and defend it or explain it,” he said. “It was terribly wrong, and I am appalled that it ever happened in the company that I own.”
Yum said in an e-mailed statement that it “It is difficult to believe and completely unacceptable that the management of Shanghai Husi, a division of OSI, would oversee and organise illegal and dishonest operations.”
It said it has stopped buying from Shanghai Husi and arranged alternative supplies, and consequently doesn’t expect any disruption to KFC restaurants in China. However, it said Pizza Hut might experience “some temporary shortages of certain products”.
The scandal has widened in the last couple of days as the extent of Shanghai Husi’s customer base has become clear. In addition to supplying meat to McDonald’s and KFC in China, it has also supplied chicken products to McDonald’s and to FamilyMart in Japan.
The scandal appears to be creating the risk of political consequences for the likes of McDonald’s and Yum, which have expanded rapidly in China over the last two decades. Xinhua quoted Zhao Ping, deputy director of an arm of the Ministry of Commerce specialising in international trade, as saying that inadequate management capacity and training was responsible for “continued food safety scandals.”
No-one at McDonald’s was immediately available to comment early Wednesday.