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U.S. fast food chains McDonald's and KFC are involved in another food safety scandal in China, following allegations that their stores in the country have sold products containing beef and chicken meat past its expiration dates. According to media reports, Chinese authorities have been investigating the companies after a report that exposed a supplier falsifying product expiration dates.
Meanwhile, both companies affected by the scandal, McDonald's Corp. and Yum! Brands Inc., which owns the KFC and Pizza Hut brands, announced that they had stopped using products supplied by the company in question -- a local meat processor whose operations were halted over the weekend. The meat and poultry facility operated by Shanghai Husi Food Co. Ltd. was closed by the Shanghai Food and Drug Administration after an undercover investigation by a local TV station found that its employees were placing new labels on expired meat, as well as other safety violations.
Yum! and McDonald's have both started their own investigations into the matter, and both companies apologized to their customers in China.
The Asian country is one of the largest markets for fast food chains, which have been eager to open thousands of outlets, tapping into consumers' appetite for their products. However, their growth has been put at risk due to numerous food safety incidents linked to lax safety practices and insufficient inspections, the Financial Times reported.