It is slowly emerging that an American company may reportedly be responsible for the rotten chicken meat scam in China that has jeopardized the operations of several fast food joints, such as KFC, McDonald's, Starbucks and Burger King, in the country.
The latest food scandal has once again raised suspicion on Chinese product safety standards. It has also evoked concerns over the accountability of foreign firms, managing their operations in China.
According to a CNBC report, an American meat processing plant is responsible for the supply of 'rotten' meat to fast food chains.
The report notes that Shanghai Husi Food, the company which supplied expired rotten meat products to fast food chains, is owned by Illinois-based OSI Group, which is claimed to be the world's largest privately-owned food processing company.
"This is an interesting situation because quite a lot gets said about the failures of Chinese suppliers but less is said about how foreign firms manage their operations in other markets," Benjamin Cavender, Shanghai-based principal at China Market Research told CNBC.
OSI Group has been operating eight food processing plants in China since 1992.
The food scandal was first broken by a local news channel, which reported that Shanghai Husi Food was supplying foul smelling, rotten chicken for the meat used in sandwiches and patties by several fast food joints in the country.
Following the news break, KFC, Starbucks and McDonald's have suspended their supply from China.
Speaking to Reuters, a McDonald's China spokesperson said: "If proven, the practices outlined in the reports are completely unacceptable to McDonald's anywhere in the world."
The Chinese Food Safety body has also suspended the operations of Shanghai Husi Food, reported state-owned news agency Xinhua.
In the meantime, OSI Group, has offered an apology in an official statement. The company noted that it was 'appalled' by the report and has formed a team to investigate the matter.
Several food safety violations have taken place in the Chinese market in the past as well. Back in 2008, six infants were killed and thousands fell sick in China, after several dairy products got contaminated with industrial chemical melamine.