MCDONALD’s Hong Kong was forced to admit it imported cooked beef and chicken from the Shanghai (上海) factory at the centre of a food scandal only after the Centre for Food Safety (CFS, 食物安全中心) uncovered receipts, a senior official said.
It was also revealed that more than 15 tonnes of cooked beef, chicken and vegetables supplied to McDonald’s by Shanghai Husi Food Co (上海福喜) have been dumped in landfills.
Undersecretary for Food and Health (食物及衛生局副局長) Sophia Chan Siu-chee (陳肇始) said earlier the Centre obtained import receipts for the past 24 months from McDonald’s and had them checked. Staff from the Centre then contacted McDonald’s Hong Kong.
“First, McDonald’s told us there was no such food from Husi,” Chan said.
“Later when the CFS found out from records that there were imports, we then contacted McDonald’s again. They admitted cooked meat and chicken were imported to Hong Kong this year.”
Chan said the Food and Health Bureau (食物及衞生局) is considering the possibility of legislation on cooked meat. Importing cooked meat does not require a permit, with the Food and Environmental Hygiene Department (FEHD, 食物環境衞生署) only carrying out routine sampling.
A department spokesman said 15.6 tonnes of Husi food had been dumped, including 10,100 kilograms of cooked chicken meat, 800kg of beef and 4,700kg of vegetables.
Lee Siu-yuen (李小苑), assistant director of food and environmental hygiene (food surveillance and control), said McDonald’s did not attend a scheduled meeting with the centre, but a teleconference was held later.
The chairwoman of the Legislative Council’s food safety panel, Helena Wong Pik-wan (黃碧雲), said government checks of records of other fast-food outlets found no problems.
The centre confirmed that McDonald’s had imported 110 tonnes of Husi’s food, of which 60 tonnes has already been sealed. About 50 tonnes is stored in McDonald’s branches and will be transported to a centralised point for FEHD inspection.
Meanwhile, McDonald’s outlets across the mainland removed their flagship burgers from the menu, the company said.
Shanghai Husi staff had allegedly mixed out-of-date meat with fresh products.