Hong Kong Is Out of Big Macs

China's McDonald's restaurants are shedding some pounds.

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China's McDonald's restaurants are shedding some pounds.

No, the chain isn't promoting healthy eating. It's cutting out beef, pork, and chicken items—at least temporarily—thanks to the country's latest food scandal, in which meat supplier Shanghai Husi Food Co. allegedly served rotting meat by repackaging expired products with new dates

"To help rebuild the trust of customers and consumers, as well as to cooperate with the official investigatory process, we are compelled to withdraw all products manufactured by Shanghai Husi from the marketplace," OSI Group Inc., Husi's owner, said in a statement, adding that it is conducting a "thorough internal investigation" on the scandal.

The move has left menus significantly diminished and usually bustling restaurants "eerily quiet," reported The Washington Post:

Waiters directed customers to a sad-looking menu in front of their counters showing in black and white two big hash browns. As one cashier explained it: 'The only main dish we can provide is hash browns. Do you still want to order?'

When told by a customer that all he wanted was a cup of coffee, the cashier seemed relieved and said, 'Yes, that we have in stock.'

The restrictions mark a widespread change in Chinese McDonald's restaurants. The company has been supplying McDonald's in China for 22 years, and removing certain items affects more than 2,000 restaurants in the country.

Of course, such food scandals have had an extensive history in the nation. Some, like the Husi scandal, involved disguised meat, like the rat meat found in lamb skewers case discovered in 2013. Some are more bizarre: Chinese companies have been accused of glow-in-the-dark meat and exploding watermelons, for instance. 

Needless to say, China's no longer lovin' it.

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