The food safety scandal in China has rocked fast food giants, McDonald's and KFC, after their supplier was caught selling expired meat. Last week, McDonald’s warned its regional profits could suffer. Beef and chicken are now back on its menus in Guangzhou. But many consumers are still uncertain.
It's been two weeks since a food safety scandal forced McDonald's to stop selling meat. Now though, staples like chicken nuggets and Big Macs are back in Guangzhou. It's supplier - Shanghai Husi Food Group, owned by an American company, OSI - was caught selling expired meat. In the latest notice on its website, McDonald's China says it's now looking for new suppliers and it's suspended orders from Husi and its affiliates in China.
Since the scandal, the burger chain's sales plunged 2.5 percent globally - it's first global decline in more than a decade. In an email to CCTV-News, a McDonald's spokeswoman said quote: "We have completed a robust review of its food safety and quality management approach in China and actions are already taking place. We will be sharing more details on next steps later."
China is a major market for McDonald's, with more than 2,000 outlets throughout the country. But despite resuming a full menu in some cities last week - after this latest food safety scandal - many consumers here say they've lost their appetite.
"I haven't eaten McDonald's in a long time. I think it's unhealthy anyway and I want to lose weight."
"I like to eat more wholesome food, so I hardly ever eat fast food... But after the Husi scandal, I will eat it even less."
"McDonald's should strengthen its quality control, to restore its reputation and trust among Chinese customers. It may take time, but I think it can."
Zhu Yi, an Associate Professor in food science and nutrition, agrees.
"There are complaints online. Some Internet users say Western fast food chains are not as reliable. But many are asking: 'if brands like McDonald's have such problems, what about the smaller, local fast food businesses?' So, many still prefer big, Western brands. This is only a temporary setback. McDonald's should learn from this, and improve its supply standards," Prof. Zhu Yi, food science faculty of China Agricultural Univ., said.
Despite the short term sales slump, it seems China's second-biggest fast food chain could well recover, eventually.