OSI CEO apologizes for food safety scandal

by Meat&Poultry Staff
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AURORA, Ill. – Sheldon Lavin, chairman, CEO and owner of OSI Group LLC, issued an apology to the company's customers in China following unsafe food handling practices at an OSI subsidiary in Shanghai.

Food safety authorities closed a meat-processing plant run by Shanghai HUSI Food Co. Ltd. after a television report showed workers picking up meat from the plant floor and mixing fresh meat with expired meat. Police in Shanghai detained five people — including the head of Husi Food and the plant's quality manager — for their alleged involvement in the scandal.

“What happened at Husi Shanghai is completely unacceptable, Lavin said in a statement posted to the company's website. “I will not try and defend it or explain it. It was terribly wrong, and I am appalled that it ever happened in the company that I own.

“On behalf of Husi and OSI, I sincerely apologize to all of our customers in China. We will bear the responsibility of these missteps, and will make sure that they never happen again. That is my personal commitment and that of our organization.”

Lavin said the events at the Shanghai facility violated the tenets of OSI and the company's values. He said he immediately dispatched a team of global experts to the facility upon hearing the news, and more experts are on the way.

“We are very proud of our newest state-of-the-art facility in Henan,” Lavin said. “It reflects our confidence and commitment in China. We are also pleased that local Chinese authorities have inspected all our other facilities and have found no issues.”

Yum! Brands Inc. severed ties with OSI Group, while McDonald's said the fast-food chain was maintaining its business with OSI.
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