Fast Food Scandal

By: Michael Scuderi

KFC and McDonalds get some percentage of their meat from Shanghai Husi food Co., which is run by the OSI group. They were under investigation when a video of their meat processing line was leaked to the media. This footage contained horrifying clips of workers blending old meat with new fresh meat and even showed some footage of workers scooping meat up off the floor and putting it back into the production lines. KFC is the largest fast food company in China, where is runs 4,600 stores nationwide. The second largest is McDonalds, even though it only runs a mere 2,000 stores. Both companies have been supplied by Shanghai Husi Food Company. And both companies claim that they have stopped using meat from that supplier since finding this information out. In light of this scandal, KFC took a major hit and, for damage control, they attempted to “reconnect” with their consumer base by revamping the entire menu, refurnishing and renovating their stores and even decided to offer free Wi-Fi in all of their location. Many consumers were still enraged by yet another meat scandal in the food industry. They even went after KFC’s mascot Kernel Sanders by posting pictures of Kernel sanders holding a cleaver in one hand and also holding a blood soaked smock in the other. This is another huge scandal for the fast food industry that seems to never go away. So the real question we should be asking is: Is the brand at fault for these occurrences or should we blame the supplier? Consumers of western products have grown to expect a very safe and high quality product, they expect this because that is exactly what Western companies advertise their products to be. But what most western consumers don’t realize is that these Western companies are supplied by companies in China, who in turn have their own suppliers. So you can consider it false advertising when a product is said to be safe and of high quality because at the end of the day you do not know exactly where that product came from or how it was processed and how it ended up landing on your plate. Consumers hold one brand responsible for their whole supply chain, which is very challenging because supply chains can be constantly changing especially with China’s “fragmented nature”. Should consumers hold single brands responsible for their suppliers, or should they accept that the company has made yet another mistake and just take the free Wi-Fi and move on with their lives. This food supplier didn’t only supply KFC and McDonalds, but has supplied many other food companies around the world and the scariest part about the scandal, which sets it apart from the other scandals, is that the supplier was at one time a unit of a much larger American company. To recap, the only way you truly know that your food is fresh safe and of good quality is if you grow it in your backyard.


8 thoughts on “Fast Food Scandal

  1. John Vallerand March 19, 2015 / 5:14 pm

    It’s very interesting to see what these fast food chains are providing for the consumers. Whether they knew what was going on or not it makes m not want to consume any fast food from these companies knowing that they do things like mixing in old meat and picking up things that fell on the floor. After reading this it makes me want to prepare my own meals for now on. I believe that the fast food companies like McDonalds and KFC need to reassure their customers that the food is fresh and not contaminated.


  2. Cody J. Russell March 19, 2015 / 7:38 pm

    At the end of the day, we will never actually know how much KFC knew about the operation besides what they tell us they knew. Although WIFI is a good attempt to try and win customers back, I feel KFC should treat this as a lesson for themselves along with McDonald’s and other food corporations that maybe the cheapest option isn’t always the best. Although its mostly about money, they need to make it a bigger goal to drop a few extra dollars and ensure customers they are receiving 100% quality products from a trusted source. In doing so, they may regain the customers they lost and even better, be able to obtain more customers who brought in by the marketing/advertising/distribution of a quality product. By doing this, they will also build a relationship with trust and KFC consumers won’t even need to think twice about what could possibly be in their meal unlike the products of other fast food restaurants. To call KFC’s situation false advertising, you wouldn’t be wrong. Although they may or may not have known the qualities of what they were buying, in today’s day and age you need to be 100% positive when it comes to big statements like these. Although people may be skeptical about the U.S. when it comes to a few things, I (along with plenty of millions of people) am skeptical when it comes to Chinese products. When people hear made in China there is a negative connotation to it and makes one question whether the product received is a durable/high quality, tangible good. To fully answer the question in a single sentence, I do believe that KFC may not be 100% to blame for the scandal, but also that they were the ones that went into business with Shanghai Husi and because of that, they must accept the responsibility and do everything in their power to guarantee it WILL NOT happen again.


  3. Zi Wang March 19, 2015 / 8:30 pm

    Although KFC figure out some new idea like free Wi-Fi and changed meun etc to attract customers back again, it is not the most effective method. On the one hand, I belive that the good and safe products are the most importan factor for a great fast food company whether can get trust and greet from most customers. On the other hand, these fast food companis should be responsible for their entire supply chain. No matter which link of the supply chian, companies should carefully assess and check befort building cooperation with them.


  4. Kyley Murphy March 20, 2015 / 3:40 pm

    I think the supplier should be held accountable, but the companies like KFC and McDonalds do need to share some of the blame. It is their brand that gets tarnished when scandals like this are leaked to the public. it is similar to what happened with Nike and the sweatshops. Bigger companies do a lot of outsourcing so that they can attain a bigger profit margin, but they need to be more careful who they do business with. Most companies are learning the hard way that there needs to be more focus on quality than on profits.


  5. Sasha Letourneau March 24, 2015 / 1:28 pm

    I think both should be held accountable. If you open a fast food restaurant and you are not supplying your own meat or any produce i think its their responsibility to know where their products are coming from, how they are handled and what they are serving to their customers.


  6. Kevin McAtamney March 24, 2015 / 4:48 pm

    I strongly believe that is is 100% the brands fault. Usually, before I purchase something, I read reviews online, reserch the product I want to purchase and educate myself about what I’m spending my hard earned money on. The point I’m trying to make is that you can’t honestly tell me that McDonald’s didn’t do any of their due diligence before they went ahead and used this supplier for their products. If they truly knew nothing about this issue going on, then yes, it was the suppliers fault but McDonald’s needs to have a better sense of where their meet is coming from. This is just another blow to the fast food industry and it really doesn’t seem like their is an end in sight for them. Drastic changes need to be made for big names like Taco Bell, KFC, Burger King and McDonald’s if they want to stick around and continue being profitable.


  7. Paige Gilbert April 1, 2015 / 12:51 am

    I too believe this is completely the brands fault, because they should be taking the time to look into the food suppliers they are buying from. Sense KFC and McDonalds are such large corporations feeding millions of people it is their responsibility to ensure that their food is not contaminated and that it is decent quality. Considering how extremely processed and inexpensive the food is the customers can not have high expectations for the quality, but should feel at least safe consuming their products. It seems like these issues come up a lot in the fast food industry, and even with KFC trying to change their menu to look “healthier” and reconnect with their client base they will not be able to re-amp their customers if scandals keep appearing interfering with the edibility of they food.


  8. Patrick Lynch April 9, 2015 / 4:47 pm

    I agree with Paige, McDonald’s and KFC are multi-billion dollar companies who should be aware of the companies that supply their food. Many people should understand that the meat quality will not be the greatest, but that shouldn’t mean that the food should be handled incorrectly. The food should be handled with great care. I think KFC and McDonald’s should try to find a food supplier that costs more to produce, and try to advertise showing where they get their food and have tours from where they get it. I think this will make the consumer feel safe, comfortable, and more aware. I think this will create more consumers, but the food pricing will slightly be raised.


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