McDonald's yesterday sent an inspection team to the mainland factory where children have been found packing toys for the fast-food chain in sweatshop conditions. The company said it took the allegations, revealed by the Sunday Morning Post, seriously and would consider axing the supplier's contract if it failed to follow McDonald's code of practice on labour rights. It said a Geneva-based firm had checked the Shenzhen factory in October last year and found no evidence of child labour. The inspection was ordered after the disclosure that City Toys in Shajing, Shenzhen, employed children as young as 14, working 16 hours a day and earning 1.50 yuan (HK$1.41) an hour. City Toys - a subsidiary of SAR-based Pleasure Tech Holdings - is contracted to produce the toys by McDonald's supplier Simon Marketing (Hong Kong). McDonald's said it worked closely with its suppliers and would not tolerate substandard working conditions. 'We take the current allegations seriously and are taking immediate action to get all the facts,' a statement said. 'Our suppliers know how seriously we take these issues. If they do not comply with our code of conduct and its labour standards they can lose our business.' The company said it was sending a monitoring team to the factory 'to ensure that the allegations are untrue and that we and our supplier, Simon Marketing, are doing everything possible to have the right practices in place'. McDonald's did not explain how it could ensure underage workers had not been removed from the factory before the investigation team arrived. The Post alerted the factory to its investigation on Friday. The inspection team is expected to return today. The company said the Geneva-based firm SGS International Certification Services and Simon Marketing would help the investigation. 'We should rely on their professional knowledge,' a McDonald's spokesman said. SGS has been conducting audits for McDonald's suppliers and subcontractors for more than a year. McDonald's said City Toys had been audited several times last year, including a full audit in October. Simon Marketing spokeswoman Vivian Foo could not be reached for comment, while the SAR businessman who heads City Toys, Jack Lau Kim-hung, did not return calls. The Post reported that the factory employed children from 7am until up to midnight for 24 yuan a day. The workers said they produced Snoopy, Winnie the Pooh, Hello Kitty and other toys sold with McDonald's meals in the SAR and in branches of the fast-food chain around the world. Underage workers said they had used fake ID cards to get jobs and were estimated to make up about 20 per cent of the workforce.