Chinese meat supplier scandal has global reach

NEW YORK – It isn’t a household name, but the company at the center of a food scandal in China helps make some of the world’s most popular foods, including the Big Macs and Quarter Pounders served at McDonald’s locations.

OSI Group, a privately held company based in Aurora, Illinois, was thrust into the spotlight this weekend when a Chinese TV station reported that one of its Shanghai plants repackaged old beef and chicken and slapped new expiration dates on them. The scare has ensnared chains including McDonald’s, KFC, Burger King and Starbucks, all of which got ingredients from a unit of OSI in the region called Husi Food Co.

The controversy deepened Wednesday when five workers for Husi, were detained by police. An official with China’s food safety regulator told the Xinhua News Agency that some of the illegal conduct it uncovered was an arrangement “organized” by Husi.