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McDonald’s halts sales of some chicken items in Kong Kong, switches suppliers


Food scandal at a Chinese supplier prompts McDonald’s to suspend some menu items in Hong Kong. (Ng Han Guan/AP)

McDonald’s has suspended sales of chicken nuggets and other items in Hong Kong after importing products from Shanghai Husi Food, the U.S.-owned Chinese company at the center of a food-safety scare in China.

McDonald’s said it imported certain products from Shanghai Husi between July 2013 and June, although no food items from the Shanghai supplier remained in stock.

In Japan, McDonald’s Holdings (Japan) said Friday it would halt all imports of chicken products from China and shift that business to Thailand, boosting purchases from existing suppliers McKey Foods Services (Thailand), a unit of Keystone Foods, and Cargill Thailand.

Last year, Thailand supplied 62 percent of McDonald’s Japan chicken product imports, with China supplying the remainder.

McDonald’s Japan said this week that it sourced about a fifth of its Chicken McNuggets from Shanghai Husi and had halted sales of the product Monday.

The food scandal broke after a TV report Sunday showed employees at Shanghai Husi Food using long-expired meat and picking up food from the floor to add back to the mix. Chinese authorities detained five Husi employees.

The fast-food company said in Hong Kong that it also had stopped selling its McSpicy chicken filets, chicken and green salads, fresh corn cups and iced lemon tea. McDonald’s said it had stopped using the following ingredients from another branch, Guangzhou Husi: lettuce, corn kernels, lemon slices, green salad, cucumbers, onions and tomatoes.

“We reiterate that until today, all the food sold at McDonald’s restaurants conform to the food safety standard under Hong Kong legal regulations,” McDonald’s said.

The announcement came after Hong Kong said it had suspended all imports from Shanghai Husi Food, which is owned by Aurora, Ill.-based OSI Group.

Hong Kong’s Center for Food Safety said in a statement Thursday that any food products from Husi already imported into the city would be marked, sealed and banned from sale, pending the results of investigations by Chinese authorities.

China is McDonald’s third-biggest market as measured by the number of restaurants.

The latest food-safety scare in China also has ensnared KFC parent Yum Brands, which has required all its KFC and Pizza Hut restaurants to seal up and stop using all meat supplied by the Husi factory.

There have been no reports of any consumers falling sick in the latest food scare.

Food safety is one of the top issues for Chinese consumers after a scandal in 2008 in which dairy products tainted with the industrial chemical melamine led to the deaths of six infants and made many thousands of people sick.

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