Burger King, Starbucks, Papa John's Touched by China Food Health Scare

NEW YORK (TheStreet) - We can now add Burger King (BKW), Starbucks (SBUX) and Papa John's (PZZA) to the growing list of companies -- alongside McDonald's (MCD) and YUM!s (YUM) KFC and Pizza Hut -- whose Chinese outlets allegedly have been sold contaminated meat by Shanghai's Husi Food Company.

Reports in the Chinese press of expired and contaminated chicken and beef products have prompted the well-known fast-food chains to severe ties with the U.S.-owned Husi Food, while some have even pulled potentially hazardous products from their menus in Chinese stores.

No illnesses have been reported so far in China due to the allegedly contaminated meat, which was only sold in China and Japan. The stocks of all the companies have remained steady.

TheStreet's Ruben Ramirez has details on the food safety scandal:


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Both McDonald's and YUM! issued apologies to their Chinese consumers Monday, and  Husi's meat products are also a problem in Japan as a Tokyo-based spokesman at McDonald's Holdings there said about 20% of its Chicken McNuggets had come from Husi, according to the Wall Street Journal.

Meanwhile, Burger King has "suspended the sale of any products from the Husi/OSI factory in Shanghai" according to Burger King's media relations team. Burger King China has also launched a full investigation into the matter.

In response to the scare, Starbucks pulled the chicken and apple Panini from their shelves in China after noting that the meat did indeed come from Shanghai Husi Food Company. Starbucks Public Affairs representative Marianne Duong issued the following statement, "After a thorough investigation, we identified one product, the 'Chicken Apple Panini', sourced from one of our suppliers, that uses chicken provided by Husi Food. This product is only available in stores in some of our Starbucks China markets, including, Shaanxi, Henan, Sichuan, Chongqing, Hunan, Hubei, Guangxi, Yunnan, Fujian, Hainan, Anhui, Jiangxi and Guizhou." 

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