Chinese KFC and McDonald's Didn't Mean to Serve Rotten Meat

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The chicken may be "finger-lickin' good," but it may not be fresh: A meat processer to McDonald's and KFC in China has been accused of supplying rotting meat and repackaging expired products with new dates.

Shanghai television station Dragon TV reported Monday that Husi Food Co., Ltd. provided old beef and chicken to the country's two largest fast food restaurants, in some cases mixing rotten and fresh meat. McDonald's Corp. and Yum Brands Inc., which owns KFC, Pizza Hut, and Taco Bell, have released separate statements apologizing for the scare and saying they'll conduct their own investigations.

Yum told The Wire their restaurants, including KFC and Pizza Hut, have stopped using all meat materials from Husi and will work with the government to investigate the violations. The stoppage will also cause a temporary supply shortage of certain products:

Stopping using the meat from Husi will cause temporary supply shortage of 2 breakfast products, Cheese pork hamburger and BBQ hamburger, at some KFC restaurants, and shortage of the stone pan Texas flavor beef at Pizza Hut restaurants. We have already transferred the materials from other suppliers urgently to tackle the supply shortage. Our deepest apologies to all consumers for the inconvenience caused during this period of time.

As for McDonald's, a China-based spokeswoman for the company told Reuters the "the practices outlined in the reports are completely unacceptable to McDonald's anywhere in the world."

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The report comes as the latest fast food safety scare to hit the country. In December 2013, McDonald's and Yum were found to have used chicken pumped with excessive amounts of antibiotics. KFC sales fell 37 percent the next month as a result, despite ending the use of more than 1,000 small poultry producers in its supply network.

Outside of fast food, China faces widespread food safety concerns as well. In April, a report issued by China's Ministry of Environmental Protection and Ministry of Land Resources found that 16.1 percent of the country's soil was polluted. According to the report, 82.8 percent of the polluted land was contaminated by inorganic material, thanks to factory waste products, using polluted water for irrigation, and improper use of fertilizers and pesticides.

This article is from the archive of our partner The Wire.