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For more than fifty years, McDonald’s restaurants have been sprouting up across the globe. McDonald’s is, for many, the gold standard of fast food chains. The famed “golden arches” can be found in nearly every corner of the world, including third world countries.
In recent years, however, McDonald’s has been forced to change its offerings somewhat in favor of a more health-friendly diet. While the traditional burger and fries meal still remains popular, our society has become increasingly aware of the harmful effects of the saturated fats, additives, and preservatives that are found in McDonald’s traditional food items. The problem with making the transition to a healthier menu, however, is that international implementation is difficult. The source of meat, and the packaging of meats, is particularly important for McDonald’s regarding its new menu items.
Just recently, a video released to the Chinese media showed footage of a meat-processing plant in Shanghai. The plant, which supplied chicken and beef to McDonald’s in Japan, used appalling practices and procedures. The video shows workers picking meat up off the factory floor and using it in shipments. Workers in the video also claimed that the meat smelled bad. The Shanghai Municipal Food and Drug Administration subsequently found that expired beef and chicken products were being processed at the plant and repackaged with new expiration dates.
McDonald’s has officially cut off all shipments from the Chinese factory, which is owned by an Illinois-based company, namely the OSI Group. This same factory also provides meats to other large chains, such as KFC and Starbucks.
According to McDonald’s CEO, Sarah Kasanova, the loss of the Shanghai supplier will account for a 20% drop in sales in the Japanese market. In the meantime, McDonald’s will buy its meat from Thailand. Kasanova apologized for the use of the tainted meat, and declared that the practices shown on the viral video were not condoned by the company and never would be. On behalf of McDonald’s, she also promised to strengthen food safety measures, including more transparency in the country of origin for its products.