Food safety issues cost OSI $968M

by MEAT+POULTRY Staff
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SHANGHAI – China’s official news agency, Xinhua, reported that OSI Group has lost an estimated $967.6 million (6 billion yuan) since allegations of improper food safety practices at an OSI China meat plant surfaced last year. Lü Yong, vice president of OSI China, also told Xinhua that many of the company’s facilities were still suspended.

However, Reuters reported that spokespeople for OSI in the United States and China declined to confirm or deny the amount of losses reported by Xinhua.

Food-safety authorities in Shanghai suspended operations at a meat plant run by Shanghai Husi Food Co. Ltd., which supplied meat to McDonald’s, Yum! Brands and other companies with operations in China. Chinese regulators took the action after a local television report allegedly showed workers picking up meat from the plant floor and mixing fresh meat with expired meat. Burger King, Yum! Brands, McDonald’s and other major customers eventually severed business ties with OSI China. Aurora, Ill.-based OSI Group quickly launched its own investigation into the matter and implemented a management and structural re-organization for its operations in China.

Long told Xinhua that OSI will not give up on the Chinese market or withdraw from it. “We have invested more than $500 million in China in recent five years, and we believe we can overcome the difficulties,” he said.
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