SHANGHAI May 6 Shanghai authorities are testing
mislabelled mutton from a wholesaler a government website said
supplies a chain of hot pot restaurants run by U.S. fast food
firm Yum Brands Inc, the latest safety scare to taint
China's food industry.
Acting on a tip, Shanghai food safety inspectors and police
raided a wholesale market on Friday and found packages labelled
"New Zealand mutton" at one supplier that had no production date
or list of ingredients, according to a report on the website of
the municipal food safety committee (www.spaq.sh.cn).
Invoices indicated that some of the meat had already been
sold to several restaurants, including outlets of Yum-owned
Little Sheep, the website said. The meat was being tested and
results would be available in about a week, the report added.
Yum officials could not be reached by phone or email for
comment on Monday. The Guangzhou Daily newspaper quoted an
unidentified Yum official as saying Little Sheep did not procure
meat from the supplier under investigation.
The mislabelled meat crackdown follows media reports last
week that police had bust a crime ring that had passed off more
than $1 million in rat and small mammal meat as mutton. China's
food industry has also been under pressure from a bird flu
outbreak and other environmental concerns.
KFC parent Yum, which reaps more than a half of its overall
sales in China, was embroiled in a food safety scare last year
after news reports and government investigations focused on
chemical residue found in a small portion of its chicken supply.
Sales at its established KFC restaurants in China fell 20
percent during the first quarter and Yum warned that fears
surrounding the bird flu outbreak were still hurting its
Most of Yum's nearly 5,300 restaurants in China are KFCs. It
also runs Pizza Hut.