Business / Biz Photos

Top 8 global brands caught in China's food safety scandals

Updated: 2014-07-31 08:01 (

With China witnessing an ever-increasing appetite for global food brands, helped by the consumers trust in their quality and time-honored reputation, the recent scandals involving some of the biggest names have left many consumers with lost appetite.

When the scandal broke out over Shanghai Husi Food Co supplying expired meat, international brands such as KFC, McDonald's and Starbucks were forced into the spotlight over their quality control.

The expired products were sold to nine companies, including Pizza Hut, Burger King, Papa John's and Dicos.

Frustrated by food safety scandals over the past few years, many Chinese consumers opted for Western food suppliers in search of reliable and delicious alternatives, only to find the same problem over and over again.

More than 60 percent of the respondents to a survey conducted earlier this year by 51 Report, a comprehensive online service provider for industry research and analysis, said that they preferred Chinese fast food because it was healthier and of better quality despite the large-scale promotion done by Western fast food giants.

Legal experts and industry insiders are calling for more stringent legislation on food safety as this issue has spread across the country and tested consumers' confidence and patience.

The case also comes close on the heels as China attempts the first revision of the Food Safety Law, which took effect in 2009.

Will the food safety issue ever be contained and are Chinese consumers losing faith in the imported food quality on their table? Let's take a look at the round up of the food scandals that have ensnared global brands in recent years in China.

1. OSI Group

It isn't a household name, but the company at the center of the food scandal in China helps make some of the world's most popular foods.

OSI Group, a privately-held company based in Aurora, Illinois, was thrust into the spotlight this weekend when a Chinese TV station reported that one of its Shanghai plants repackaged old beef and chicken and slapped new expiration dates on them.

The scare has ensnared some famous chains that got ingredients from a unit of OSI (pronounced OH-see) in the region called Husi Food Co.

The controversy deepened when five workers of Husi were detained by police. An official with China's food safety regulator told the media that some of the illegal conduct it uncovered was an arrangement "organized" by Husi.


Top 8 global brands caught in China's food safety scandals

Sheldon Lavin, chairman, chief executive officer and owner of OSI Group LLC of the United States, attends a press conference of OSI Group China in Shanghai, July 28, 2014. [Photo/IC] 


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