China has been scrambling to correct its gargantuan processed food vessels since six infants died and thousands more were hospitalized with liver damage in 2008 from milk adulterated with an industrial chemical.
But as the latest scandal spoiled meat in fast food shows have tried the change over the last six years met its centuries old and sprawling food chain.
From factory inspections, recalls, laboratory tests for the prosecution has been China’s emerging food quality appliance turned into reforms on the fly, with constant new threats and setbacks. Now, the increasing incidence of major U.S. brands are doing to the country’s regulatory efforts – and its most glaring lapses – playing out on the global stage.
a meat supplier to McDonalds and KFC.
Workers gathered at a seminar in Shanghai Husi food, a meat supplier to McDonalds and KFC.
Sinosphere Blog: 5 Detained in China During Processing of Spoiled MeatJULY 23, 2014
Earlier this year, fox meat available in packages sold by Walmart as “Five Spice” donkey meat, prompting a recall and the company’s promise to triple its spending on food safety in China. Large quantities of antibiotics and hormones detected in some chicken products sold by KFC in late 2012 led to calls for a consumer boycott; company’s problems deepened last year when nine deaths from bird flu have increased public concern about chicken general and depressed their sales.
“As I keep explaining China to the people is that it is much like in the United States in time of Upton Sinclair and” The Jungle, “said Don Schaffner, a professor of food microbiology at Rutgers University and president of the International Association for Food Protection, referring to 1906 novel described unsanitary conditions in the meatpacking industry and inspired reform. “There is a tremendous desire by the Chinese to get it right, but they have a long way to go.”
The meat episode that began garnering a lot of attention on Sunday snared a roster of American fast food giants. It depended on a hidden-camera broadcast by Shanghai-based Dragon TV shows processing plant workers using out-of-date chicken and beef to make hamburger patties and chicken products. Meat that had fallen on the floor was scooped up and thrown back into the processing machine, showed news report.
State investigators have since found that workers at the factory, Shanghai Husi food, use expired or rotten meat to make Chicken McNuggets, beef patties and other foods totaling more than 5,000 boxes, the official Xinhua News Agency reported. One hundred tons of meat were seized, and on Wednesday Police arrested five people as part of their investigation. The factory supplied McDonald’s, KFC and other fast food restaurants in China, and is a subsidiary of OSI Group, based in Aurora, Illinois
Along with McDonald’s and KFC, the restaurants have stopped making their purchases from Shanghai Husi include Burger King, Starbucks and Papa John’s pizza chain. The factory had customers in Japan as well, including McDonald’s Holdings Japan, which said it had bought about a fifth of its Chicken McNuggets from Shanghai Husi and stopped selling the product on Monday.
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As of Wednesday, regulators in Shanghai said they had conducted 875 inspections at 581 companies that use products from Shanghai Husi.
“The management was appalled by the report and address the issue directly and quickly” through internal investigation and cooperation with government investigators, OSI, said in a statement. A company spokesman declined to answer questions.
China is not alone in facing food safety hazards. In the past week alone, was a nationwide recall issued for fruit from a California packing plant over concerns about possible contamination of the pathogen listeria, but with some diseases that are not reported; food company Sysco agreed to a $ 19.4 million settlement in California in connection with the storage of perishable food in uncooled shed; and Minnesota health officials investigated 13 cases of illness from food-borne bacteria E. coli.
millions of people become ill
Globally, millions of people become ill each year from eating unsafe food, and the World Health Organization estimates that food-and waterborne diseases resulting in approximately 2.2 million deaths annually.
But regulatory efforts are mixed in China. The country has banned or restricted the sale of imported American foods including pork, citing concerns about the additives, while grappling with recent safety concerns about pollution in a matrix of its domestically produced rice, bottled water and soy sauce.
It is difficult to measure how much progress China is making in view of its still-nascent efforts to create a system of public health epidemiology that can trace food-borne illnesses back to their source, say food safety experts. However, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in the United States is seen as having the world’s most powerful food-borne illness detection system, which may explain much of the continuing product recalls and warnings involving U.S. products.
stomach-turning episodes in China
The varied and often stomach-turning episodes in China, coupled with the growing number of U.S. food companies operating there, has made it a focus of world attention and expert assistance in the process of building up its food-quality protection. Events such as the government-sponsored China International Food Safety and Quality Conference, which began eight years ago, has been drawing top U.S. experts, from regulators to litigators, who says that the challenge China faces is amazing.
“Although China is through the outer one incredibly modern and vibrant community, it just does not have a long history of oversight, for checks and balances, where someone makes the decision,” If the meat falls on the floor, I’ll put it back in? , ‘”Said Bill Marler, a Seattle-based consumer attorney who has been involved in food safety conferences.
Mr. Marler, a leading files of food-borne diseases lawsuits in the United States, cites the lack of a strong civil compensation system in China as a major obstacle to its food-safety overhaul, arguing that big-dollar cases cause companies to change their ways. But the shortcomings of China’s system varies greatly, observers said, and persist despite update of its Food Hygiene Law of the far more powerful food safety law in 2009.
It may prove to be an advantage as more U.S. food companies entering the Chinese market.
While raising public alarm about the episodes this week’s meat scandal, they can also get carries expertise to help set things right, says Professor Schaffner.
“They’re not perfect,” he said. “But when companies like McDonald’s and Yum Brands come in, they take with high food safety standards on China, which is good for Chinese suppliers.