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McDonald's staff caught breaking food rules

By Xu Chi and Wang Xiang (Shanghai Daily)

08:23, March 16, 2012

A McDonald's restaurant in Beijing has been found selling food that, under the rules, should have been thrown away.

Staff were also seen changing expiry dates and, in one case, putting back beef that had fallen on the ground, China Central Television reported yesterday.

The workers' violations were captured by undercover reporters and broadcast nationwide yesterday, China's Consumer Rights Day.

In video footage, staff at the McDonald's restaurant in the capital's central Sanlitun area were seen resetting clocks on ovens when they sounded an alarm that the food inside should be thrown away.

By resetting the clocks, the food could be reheated over and over again until sold, the program said.

At lunchtime on March 1, workers put a plate of fried chicken wings into the ovens where they should only have been kept for 30 minutes. But two hours later the wings had still not been thrown away and were still available to be sold.

Cheese pieces are required by restaurant rules to be discarded two hours after they are exposed to the air. But in the video, cheese sat on dishes for more than four hours, from 1:10am to 5:45am, to be then used in breakfast burgers.

Staff could also be seen writing expiry dates on packs and changing dates. The time on a batch of dessert pies which had to be sold before 10:20pm or thrown away was changed to 11:20pm, the video showed.

"According to regulation, the expired pies should be thrown away, but no branch restaurants would follow the rules and (the supervisors) are turning a blind eye," said a worker. "Regulations? They are made by human beings."

In another scene, raw beef fell on the ground but a worker simply picked it up and put it back.

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