KFC sorry over China chicken scare

2013-01-11 14:04

Shanghai - US fast food giant Yum! Brands has apologised to customers of its Chinese KFC restaurants after a scandal over tainted chicken that dented sales at the popular chain.

The Chinese arm of the food empire, whose brands also include Pizza Hut, admitted it failed to inform authorities about tests showing high levels of antibiotics in chicken. It came after authorities launched a probe last month.

There is deep sensitivity in China to the issue of tainted food following a string of scandals, although foreign brands are normally more trusted and it is unusual for one to get embroiled in such a controversy.

"We did not take the initiative to inform the government about test results," Yum China's chairperson and chief executive, Sam Su, said in the statement late on Thursday.

"We feel regret for all the problems and I sincerely apologise to the public on behalf of the company," he said.

The company also pledged to improve the screening process of suppliers and communication with Chinese regulators, the statement said.


The scandal came to light when China's commercial hub of Shanghai and the northern province of Shanxi said last month that they were investigating KFC suppliers over claims of high levels of antibiotics.

The company said at the time it was co-operating with a government investigation into two poultry suppliers that provided chicken with "unapproved" levels of antibiotics.

The Shanghai government has said Yum was aware of the issue through testing by a third-party in 2010 and 2011 but did not report to the authorities. The company has already stopped using the local supplier, Liuhe Group.

The scandal has hit Yum's Chinese operations. It said this week sales in the key market were forecast to fall 6% in the fourth quarter of last year following the probe, instead of the previously expected 4% drop.

Nevertheless, Chinese consumers say they will continue to eat in KFC, which is still perceived as better quality than small, individually-owned restaurants.

China's agriculture ministry has said it was investigating reports that poultry producers were giving hormones and other supplements to chickens to make them grow faster, but it did not cite Yum.

  • mya.schultz.16 - 2013-01-18 02:25

    This is not only for KFC - ALL PET LOVERS please read Susan Thixton's blog called The Truth About Pet Food, she has been fighting against dried chicken treats, which are mostly imported from China to the USA, hundreds, if not thousands of dogs have sickened and/or died from eating these jerky treats. Susan has been waging a war to get them removed from shelves and properly tested by the FDA. This last week it all seems to have come to a head and many are citing this very reason in this article. The type of antibiotic that has been found in these chickens is highly allergic for some dogs. "The dogs that are affected by the treats are dogs that are experiencing an allergic reaction to sulfonamide drugs. More specifically, they are hypersensitive to sulfonamites. In particular, acquired Fanconi Syndrome can be due to an allergic reaction to drugs known as sulfonamide-associated renal tubular necrosis..." more at poisonedpets dotcom. These "jerky" treats are also available in SA under different branding or names, but they will be dried chicken type treats and either made in China, or ingredients sourced in china. Some of the big, well known brands have these. Please be aware of what you are feeding your pets, have a look at the two sites I mentioned and make the best choices for you furry family members.

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