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.
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, which also owns KFC, has had a bad time of it recently in China. The company, along with McDonald’s, was accused of using chickens pumped full of “indiscriminate” amounts of antibiotics and growth hormones by Chinese state media. This, combined with the recent bird flu outbreak, is believed to be behind an almost 20 percent drop in sales in the first quarter of 2013. On the other hand, Yum-owned Pizza Hut does make this monstrosity, so you shouldn’t feel too sorry for them.
Update 09.30 CST, May 7: Yum has unsurprisingly denied claims that the company’s Little Sheep restaurants are affected by the fake meat scandal.
“There is no evidence, none whatsoever, of any adulterated product anywhere in our system,” Yum spokesperson Jonathan Blum told Reuters.