Food safety is a topmost priority for every food establishment. It always implies strict compliance and consumer safety laws and regulations. Establishments that serve processed foods claimed the same vision as well. However, certain situations happen beyond what customers can see and evidences show of what is opposite of what the establishment’s supposed to be priority.
One of the latest food scares has rocked Shanghai, China and the restaurant chains serving patrons there. Recent revelations have also rocked trust in the processed food system. A TV report on Sunday showed workers at a branch of Shanghai Husi Food Co Ltd, owned by Illinois-based OSI Group, using expired meats and those that had fallen on the floor.
Yesterday, five people connected to the company were arrested and detained by Shanghai police. Yum Brands Inc which owns KFC, Taco Bell and Pizza Hut have cut ties with the company. Starbucks pulled away too, after having to recall its apple-chicken panini sandwiches from its Chinese chains. Hong Kong has just banned importation of OSI's products.
One of the most famous food chains, McDonalds, is also being supplied by said company. Despite the issue, McDonalds stand by their supplier, which questions the safety and cleanliness of the products they serve.
McDonald's had said previously to Reuters, “If proven, the practices outlined in the reports are completely unacceptable to McDonald's anywhere in the world.”
However, it looks as though they have changed their tune. Or at least, there's a caveat. On Tuesday, they said they were no longer serving food from the primary Husi facility, but…
Chicago Tribune has reported:
“According to OSI, Chinese authorities have inspected Husi’s other facilities, allowing us to confidently serve our customers,” the world's largest hamburger chain said in a statement.
Oak Brook-based [Illinois] McDonald’s said it sourced chicken, beef, pork and lettuce from Shanghai Husi. Now, it plans to get such items from Husi’s “new state-of-the-art facility” in Henan.
McDonald's is standing by OSI and its new facility in China, putting faith in current inspections. Why? OSI is basically “made for” McDonald's because the group is the fast-food chain's biggest supplier. And how would the world's biggest fast food chain suddenly cut off its biggest supplier? Yum Brands and Starbucks didn't really utilize OSI supplies that much.
Unfortunately, some former employees of OSI branches have alleged similar unclean working conditions in Illinois. One employee alleged cow hair, sweat, spit and chewed gum going into the vats.
The United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) lifted bans on imports of processed chicken from China. Products are shipped for processing and sent back to US. Aside from the fact that imports aren’t really inspected, worse is that the USDA won’t do on-site inspections or even have inspectors for the products. To speed up the process and cost less, they will just take the word of the employees of the product processor.
It is the latest product scandal to hit China. Popular establishments including McDonalds has put their names in danger, knowing reports have proven for people to finally realized where their fast food actually comes from. No wonder why hospital patients and others have been killed by contaminated milk powder, drugs and other goods. Other cases are caused by food poisoning. As consumers, now we are more than aware of this reality. We should always remember that fast food chains are not healthy in the first place.
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