Starbucks chicken products off shelves in China

China has expanded meat scandal probe nationwide as Starbucks has become the latest international chain to withdraw products from its shelves in the wake of the rotten meat in McDonald's, KFC and Pizza Hut in Shanghai
Starbucks chicken products off shelves in China

BEIJING: China has expanded meat scandal probe nationwide as Starbucks has become the latest international chain to withdraw products from its shelves in the wake of the rotten meat in McDonald's, KFC and Pizza Hut in Shanghai. 

An investigation into a meat scandal expanded nationwide as China's top food quality watchdog launched a "thorough" probe, state-run Xinhua news agency reported. 

China Food and Drug Administration asked local authorities to investigate all the food factories invested by US food supplier OSI Group in provinces of Hebei, Shandong, Henan, Guangdong and Yunnan. 

The administration will scrutinize meat sources and the process of food production in these factories. Law or regulation violators will face severe punishment. 

Local TV aired a news program on Sunday alleging that Shanghai Husi Food Co., Ltd, a unit of OSI Group, had supplied products tainted with reprocessed stale meat to a string of fast food chains and restaurants across China. 

Law enforcement officials have suspended production at a suburban plant of Shanghai Husi Food Co., and further investigation is underway, the report said. 

Meanwhile, Starbucks has become the latest international chain to withdraw products from its shelves in the wake of the scandal that has shaken China's fast food industry, Hong Kong-based South China Morning Post reported today. 

The news came as China's food safety agency announced a nationwide probe into processing factories and meat suppliers used by the Shanghai Husi Food Company, accused of selling expired beef and chicken to McDonald's, KFC and Pizza Hut. 

Starbucks, which has hundreds of outlets in China, said it had removed chicken and apple paninis from cafes in Shanghai after sourcing meat from the company. 

Mainland fast-food chain Dicos yesterday said it had taken breakfast sandwiches off its menu because its ham had been sourced from the meat processing firm. 

A statement released by Starbucks said: "Our review has identified one product, the 'Chicken Apple Sauce Panini', sourced from one of our suppliers, that uses chicken provided by Shanghai Husi." 

The sandwich was sold in 13 different provinces and major cities. 

Swedish retailer Ikea also said it had bought chicken meat for its mainland branches from the factory between September 2012 and August last year, the Post reported. 

The affected chains have so far said no meat from the factory was used in their Hong Kong branches. 

Shanghai food authorities on Sunday shut the factory, owned by a US-based company, as it investigates allegations that Husi falsified the expiry date on some of the meat products sold to international chains McDonald's, KFC and Pizza Hut. 

The move followed a news report on Shanghai's Dragon TV exposing the malpractice at the factory.

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