Congressmen want probe on food products from China

Catanduanes Rep. Cesar Sarmiento and Eastern Samar Rep. Ben Evardone have filed a bill seeking an investigation into the safety of food products imported by fast food chains in the country from Shanghai Husi Food Co. in China.
Catanduanes Rep. Cesar Sarmiento and Eastern Samar Rep. Ben Evardone
Named in House Resolution 1353 are "the imports of food chain companies in the Philippines, like Jollibee, McDonald's, Bon Chon, Chow King, Burger King, Pizza Hut, among others," a report from GMA Network said.

The lawmakers want the appropriate committees in the House of Representatives "to determine whether these companies have been serving food products detrimental to the health and well-being of the people."

Food safety scandal

The supplier, Shanghai Husi Food Co., which is owned by Illinois-based OSI Group LLC, was thrust in the middle of a food safety scandal in China late last month after allegations that it mixed fresh and expired meat spread.

This was due to a documentary that showed footage of the food company's staff "picking up raw meat from the floor and putting it on the production line."

Daily Mail reported that "they are also seen mixing meat from tubs marked 'substandard' with chicken nuggets on the production line and handling produce with bare hands."

After the documentary was aired on television, the Shanghai Municipal Food and Drug Administration closed down the factory, the same report noted.

McDonald's China responded by removing items from their menus.

Meanwhile, Yum Brands, the parent company of KFC, Pizza Hut, and Taco Bell, said that it is cutting off ties from Shanghai Husi.

On August 7, OSI Group LLC released a statement that the investigations in China are "proceeding smoothly."

It also maintained that "there have been no reported illnesses linked to any Shanghai Husi products.”

Among the products produced by Shanghai Husi are beef patties, pork sausages, chicken nuggets, and fish fillet.


Meanwhile, it was reported on August 7 in the Philippines that several items, such as Jollibee's Chickenjoy, Yum with TLC, Burgersteak, Jolly Hotdog, Breakfast Steak, Breakfast Hotdog, and Shanghai Rolls, are unavailable from the menu.

An announcement on the Jollibee Twitter account said that the food chain is undergoing a systems upgrade, thus the limited menu in some stores.

Observers are divided as to whether the unavailability of food items is due to the China meat scandal, or is simply a coincidence.—BICOLSTANDARD.COM
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