SHANGHAI: Up to 69% of Chinese consumers say they will no longer eat at a Western fast-food restaurant after poor practices have emerged at a US-owned food supplier to KFC and McDonald's.
This was one of the key findings in an online poll of 25,000 people by news portal Sina Shanghai, South China Morning Post reported.
The poll also revealed that over three-quarters (77%) thought the Western brands were aware of what was happening at the Shanghai Husi Food Company, which a weekend TV report revealed to be processing meat beyond its expiry date.
An investigation has been launched by the Shanghai Food and Drug Administration and both KFC and McDonald's released a statement emphasising that they have halted use of all products from Shanghai Husi.
This is another setback for KFC, which had been working to improve its image in China after another scandal in December 2012 revealed it had served chicken containing unapproved levels of antibiotics.
Meanwhile, US coffee chain Starbucks, Burger King, Pizza Hut, Swedish furniture chain Ikea and Chinese fast-food chain Dicos all sought to provide clarity about food they had received from Husi.
Starbucks said its only affected product was a chicken and apple panini sandwich while Ikea used its Weibo account to say it had previously sourced meat from Husi but stopped in September, the Financial Times reported.
And in a further development, it emerged that the plant also supplied meat for about a fifth of the Chicken McNuggets sold by McDonald's in Japan, prompting the Japanese authorities to announce that imports will be blocked and they will take "firm measures to ensure food safety".
Data sourced from South China Morning Post, Shanghaiist, Financial Times; additional content by Warc