McDonald’s Corp is starting to resume its full menu in some Chinese cities, almost two weeks after the fast-food chain pulled items including beef and chicken as one of its suppliers was investigated for using expired meat.
Customers in such cities as Beijing and Guangzhou will be able to buy all the items on the menu later this week, Illinois-based McDonald’s said in a statement on Monday, without specifying the date or number of cities.
It also is increasing orders from other existing suppliers in China while exploring new ones, the maker of the Big Mac said.
McDonald’s withdrew beef, pork and chicken items from its restaurants in China after a Shanghai television station reported on July 20 about how Shanghai Husi Food Co, a unit of McDonald’s long-term supplier OSI Group LLC, took expired meat and added sell-by dates from another year, renewing fears of food safety in the country.
Illinois-based OSI, which also supplied ingredients to restaurants including Yum Brands Inc’s KFC and Pizza Hut, and Papa John’s International Inc pizza restaurants in China, has since pulled all products supplied by Shanghai Husi and replaced its management team in the country after it came under Chinese government investigation.
Six executives of Shanghai Husi have been arrested, the Xinhua News Agency reported on Sunday, citing Bai Shaokang, vice-mayor and head of the public security bureau in Shanghai.
The Big Mac was not available in Beijing, while in Shanghai, limited choices of burgers were being sold, according to McDonald’s delivery services in the two cities.
McDonald’s is increasing orders from existing suppliers such as McKey Food Services Ltd, a Shenzhen unit of Philadelphia-based Keystone Foods, to handle the shortage of ingredients, the restaurant operator said on Monday.
It is also exploring new Chinese suppliers for items such as fresh produce, and is in the process of evaluating these companies.
Yum and Burger King Worldwide Inc cut ties with OSI since the food scandal, while McDonald’s said last month it would continue using food from OSI’s other operations in China.
McDonald’s is China’s second-largest fast-food chain by market share, trailing only Louisville, Kentucky-based Yum.
According to London-based research firm Euromonitor International Ltd, Yum gets about half of its revenue from the China market.