Yum Brands Inc. and the McDonald's Corp. have suspended purchases from supplier Shanghai Husi Food Co. after a television report showed their unsightly and unsanitary packing habits. This caused Chinese regulators to shut down the local meat supplier.
Yum, the parent company of KFC and Pizza Hut, apologized to its customers after the footage depicted workers picking up meat from the factory floor and mixing expired meat with fresh meat. Both companies said they have stopped using the supplier and that they switched to another one immediately. "We will not tolerate any violations of government laws and regulations from our suppliers," said Yum China, Reuters reported. They required all of their KFCs and Pizza Hut restaurants to stop using all meat materials the Husi factory supplied.
McDonald’s expressed the same sentiment: "If proven, the practices outlined in the reports are completely unacceptable to McDonald's anywhere in the world," said a China-based spokeswoman for McDonald's, Reuters reported. This supplier has provided McDonald's with chicken, beef, and lettuce. And since China is McDonald’s third biggest market, this will most certainly be a big low.
"I think this is going to be really challenging for both these firms," said Benjamin Cavender, Shanghai-based principal at China Market Research Group to Reuters. "I don't know that this is something an apology can fix so easily, because at this point people don't have a whole lot of trust that they have good systems in place.”
This is just another piece of bad press to add to McDonald’s portfolio. A few years ago, the rumor spread that McDonald’s McNuggets were made out of “pink goop.” There were photos going viral all over the Internet and people expressed their disdain for the fast-food giant. This past February, McDonald’s released a video showing exactly how their McNuggets were made, hoping to dispel any rumor.
And despite these fast-food places being some of the most lucrative businesses, that doesn’t mean that they’re not aware of the pitfalls and the unhealthy effects of eating these foods. Many polls and surveys also rank McDonald’s, KFC, and similar chains as being one of the worst places to eat, and the fast-food chains themselves are recognizing their downfalls.
“More and more, food quality — not just low price — is emerging as a deciding-factor for many Americans,” said Tod Marks, senior projects editor for Consumer Reports, VOA news reported.