Good riddance to bad rubbish: 15 tonnes of Husi-supplied McDonald's food buried in landfill

Disposal part of operation to dump of 110 tonnes of products imported by fast food chain from Shanghai factory of supplier at centre of "rotten meat" scandal

PUBLISHED : Wednesday, 30 July, 2014, 10:39am
UPDATED : Wednesday, 30 July, 2014, 4:15pm

Some 15 tonnes of food products imported to Hong Kong by a supplier at the centre of a rotten meat scandal were buried in the West New Territories Landfill on Tuesday.

The disposal is part of an operation to dispose of 110 tonnes of food imported by fast food chain McDonald’s from the Shanghai factory of supplier Husi, which is under investigation for reprocessing rotten meat and selling it.

The Centre for Food Safety said it inspected import receipts for the past 24 months of another eight fast food chains – Pizza Hut, Starbucks, 7-Eleven, Subway, Yoshinoya, KFC, Burger King and Ikea – and found none from Husi Shanghai.

The “rotten meat” scandal has prompted the Hong Kong government to review the regulation of cooked-meat imports.

"We will be open to lawmakers’ suggestions and study whether we can set up laws to better monitor imported cooked meat,” undersecretary for food and health Sophia Chan Siu-chee said on Monday. Under current law, importation of cooked meat does not require a permit. But traders have to keep proper records and provide them when asked. For raw meat, traders need import permits with a record of the place of origin and supplier.

Some have accused McDonald’s of misleading the government last week by saying it had not bought meat from Husi Shanghai. The firm initially said it bought its meat from Husi Hebei, but in a sudden reversal on Thursday said it had used products from the Shanghai branch.

Dr Helena Wong Pik-wan, chairwoman of the Legislative Council food safety and environmental hygiene panel, said the panel would press the government to investigate whether the fast food giant had covered up and delayed information.

Wong also said traders should be required to get import permits for cooked meat as they did now for raw meat.

“In Hong Kong, families buy more cooked meat than raw meat to save time,” she said. “Instant noodles with sausages and ham are a popular meal. Shouldn’t cooked meat be subject to tighter safety controls?”

She said the government told lawmakers 110 tonnes of meat products imported from Husi by McDonald’s would be discarded.