Food, drug scandal details revealed

Details of the 2014 out-dated meat scandal in China that involved fast food giants McDonald's, KFC and Burger King had been revealed by Shanghai No. 3 Intermediate People's Court.

Details of the 2014 out-dated meat scandal in China that involved fast food giants McDonald’s, KFC and Burger King had been revealed by Shanghai No. 3 Intermediate People’s Court.

The scandal was highlighted in a white paper on food and drug-related crimes, the court’s first publication of its kind, released yesterday.

In July 2014, a whistleblower accused fast-food chain supplier Shanghai Husi Food Co of using out-of-date meat and supplying a string of fast food chains across China.

It led to an official investigation into Husi and its parent OSI Group, a US-based global food processor. Ten employees of OSI and at Husi factories in Shanghai and Hebei Province were jailed for up to three years. The two factories were each fined 1.2 million yuan (US$184,900).

The court revealed that meat products produced by the two factories were returned by clients in May and June 2013. To cover their losses, managers from OSI ordered the two factories to further process the returned and expired meat.

The scandal was one of 10 prominent cases related to food and drug safety in the white paper.

From October 2015 to the end of 2017, the court dealt with 83 cases related to drug and food safety.

Nearly 41 percent concerned the illegal production and trading of toxic food and about 40 percent concerned the illegal production and trading of fake medicines. They include a variety of common foods and medicines, such as beef imported from epidemic areas, crayfish with poppy shells added and imported bottles of unlicensed vaccines.

The offenses severely damaged people’s health but criminals turned a blind eye, the court said.

Of 184 offenders in 83 cases, three were jailed for 15 years or more, eight were jailed from 10 to 15 years, 29 were jailed from three to 10 years and 75 received sentences of up to three years.

Another 32 offenders were granted reprieves but banned from engaging in food and drug business during the bail period.

The white paper emphasized that sentences for breaches of food and drug safety laws could be as much as life imprisonment, with death sentences where severe food poisoning is caused.


Special Reports
Top