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People's Daily Online>>China Business

McDonalds busted selling expired food

By Mo Ting (Global Times)

08:30, March 19, 2012

Authorities in Beijing have summoned top brass of McDonalds in China after one of its fast-food outlets was found to be selling expired food in violation of safety standards. They've demanded the international chain perform a safety inspection and apologize.

The State Food and Drug Administration has asked McDonalds to train its employees in food safety and to carefully improve the McDonalds Sanlitun store and punish those responsible.

In a report by China Central Television (CCTV) Thursday, employees at a McDonalds store in Sanlitun Village in Beijing were found to be selling chicken wings exceeding the sitting period of one hour and 24 minutes, changing the expiry date on packaging for pies and cooking mince beef picked up directly off the floor.

The program was a part of CCTV's "3.15 Gala," broadcast yearly on World Consumer Rights Day to expose business fraud and misconduct.

On the night the program aired, the Beijing food safety authority launched a sudden inspection at the Sanlitun store, accompanied by reporters, who described the sanitary situation there as "unpromising," the Beijing Morning Post reported.

Also, on the same night, McDonalds swiftly posted a brief statement on its official Sina Weibo, apologizing and assuring it would launch an inspection.

The scandal sparked some sympathetic feelings for McDonalds. Just two hours after the McDonalds story ran on CCTV, a campaign appeared on Weibo, calling for support for McDonalds. McDonalds denied on Friday that it conducted the campaign, the Beijing Morning Post reported.

According to a poll on Weibo, there were 3,338 voters who said they support McDonalds, about 47 percent of the total 7,100 respondents. Another 1,173 voters, 16.5 percent of the total, said they support CCTV.

However, some consumers showed their disdain for McDonalds. Wang Dingbao, a 25-year-old student from Xiamen University, told the Global Times that she would never go to McDonalds again. "It promised the consumers fresh and clean food, but it failed to keep the promise," Wang said.

Some diners, however, said they will still eat at McDonalds, claiming the problems are minor when compared to other food scandals in China.

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