• Tue
  • Sep 23, 2014
  • Updated: 4:49am
NewsHong Kong
FOOD SAFETY

McDonald's issues fresh apology but refuses to answer questions on rotten meat scandal

Company admits 'not communicating well' over rotten meat scandal, but won't answer questions

PUBLISHED : Sunday, 27 July, 2014, 2:57pm
UPDATED : Monday, 28 July, 2014, 5:29pm

McDonald's issued another apology yesterday for its part in the rotten meat scandal, saying a "lack of clarity" had confused people.

But the fast-food giant, accused of knowingly selling potentially tainted food, did not answer when asked if there had been a cover-up and refused to take questions on the debacle.

READ: McDonald's food supplier OSI recalls all products from Shanghai plant

In a four-minute press briefing, McDonald's managing director in Hong Kong, Randy Lai Wai-sze, said the company had "not communicated well" and promised it would never again source from the Shanghai Husi plant at the heart of the scandal.

"On behalf of McDonald's Hong Kong management, I deeply apologise to Hong Kong consumers for the lack of clarity which has led to public confusion and anxiety and had disappointed our customers. Please accept my sincere apology," she said.

The statement came two days after the Centre for Food Safety launched a probe into whether McDonald's knowingly sold potentially tainted food from Shanghai Husi to the public over a four-day period last week.

Video: China supplier of KFC, McDonald's accused of using rotten meat in fast-food products

McDonald's initially denied using any products from the Shanghai plant. But last Thursday night, after the government banned the import and sales of Husi products, McDonald's performed a U-turn and issued its first apology for "confusion".

It also halted sales of several items, including chicken nuggets, after admitting it had imported chicken and pork from Shanghai Husi, which is accused of repackaging old meat.

After adding the one tonne of ingredients it collected from McDonald's yesterday, the Centre for Food Safety last night said it had now sealed off 60 tonnes of ingredients supplied by Husi plants. It would supervise the chain as it disposed of remaining Husi ingredients collected from city branches this week.

McDonald's had not lived up to its vow to "enhance" communications, said lawmaker Alice Mak Mei-kuen, who will meet food and health officials today.

Shanghai's Communist Party chief Han Zheng promised harsh punishment for any enterprises that violated food safety regulations.

Video: China 'rotten meat' factory quality manager: It was a company policy

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This article is now closed to comments

5355a6c5-ef2c-4350-a96e-08dd0a3209ca
These large food chains are masters in the art of deceiving and cheating, so McDonalds plans to weaken the memory of the community by announcing Big Macs at HK$10, the question is whether we will return back to McDonalds which chooses to play with our health at free-will? Who pays medical costs for the damage to health due to consuming tainted food sold by McDonalds with full knowledge and sanction of the management? The big question is DO WE WANT TO TRUST McDONALDS AGAIN??
The least they can do to win back confidence of the community is to open a free hospital for the community which may have certainly suffered some or the other health damage due to consuming the food at McDonalds. But who knows if the medicines, equipment or staff at the McDonalds hospital could be trusted.
5355a6c5-ef2c-4350-a96e-08dd0a3209ca
Liars, Liars, LIARS !!!
McDonalds in HK is run by greedy money-making mentality, they always strive to increase profitibality at the cost of the community health in HK.
Their mantra - AS LONG AS THE MALPRACTICE OR POOR QUALITY IS NOT CAUGHT IT IS GOOD FOR REDUCING COST AND INCREASING PROFITS.
Their bad intentions get boosted by inefficient CFS, FEHD and related departments who are reluctant to investigate or to take action as they are happy to receive salary and still lazily wasting their time instead of doing the work they were employed for.
McDonalds thrives on the local culture where most households do not prefer to cook any meal and right from the time when they wake up in the morning and visit a restaurant for the basic tea or coffee till the time they go to bed all meals and snacks are eaten at such restaurants who may be playing with community health just so as to maximize profits.
53d6efe7-a7b8-4ca3-85cd-741e0a320969
McDonald's, stop covering up! The more you're trying to cover up, the more damages you will bring to yourself. The best strategy for damage control now is to tell the truth, the whole truth to the public.
Ms. Randy Lai Wai-sze, so far you have been handling the crisis badly. It's time for you to exercise your leadership of integrity and stop being a spin doctor anymore. I hope your handling of the current crisis won't become a stigma in your career record.
klyiu1@yahoo.ca
Time for the Secretary of Justice's office and the Consumer Council to step in and ask the questions. The public is entitled to know if McDonald (or any fast food chain for that matter) is engaged in any deceptive behavior or taking any short cut in terms of their food product quality control. I hope either of these offices has the statutory authority to issue and serve on McDonald a subpoena demanding McDonald to produce all internal communications and other documents related to the issue, and that's the only way to find out if there is any cover-up. Enough said, let's see if the SOJ and the Consumer Council are just a toothless tiger when it comes to safeguarding and protecting the right of the public.
mr.lobster
You can't prove your gastro-intestinal cancer was from eating McNuggets. So keep eating it. McDonald lied to the public until photos of the Hong Kong McNugget boxes were posted online by whistle blowers. Management knew and covered up. Integrity is an issue here.
apdld
ahum... and indeed 'junkfood' it is.
zhelu1985@live.com
I was mainly surprised that the nuggets were not made from pink slime as it is in the US. I think I'll be going to MacDonalds more often once they come back in stock.
unicronix
A low quality product using lower quality ingredients. Are we really all that surprised?
Longhongkong
Many may believe that these kind of things only happens in China. It happens in many countries. A year ago it was some cases, change date for meat, in Europe. Further there were a lot of cases where the suppliers mixed the meat with horse meat.
clc2
These things happen everywhere. What's different on the mainland is their greater prevalence, which is common to most places at the mainland's stage of economic development. Under ordinary circumstances, all kinds of corruption become less prevalent once time passes and the public becomes aware of both what's happening and gets to discuss the implications. Attitudes change.
Chances are, the Propaganda Department's suppression of bad news excepting where it concerns stuff happening at foreign invested companies will also slow development and implementation of standards.

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