Always after an outbreak instead of before: McDonald’s to increase oversight of Chinese suppliers

McDonald’s said it would monitor its suppliers in China more closely after a food safety scandal in the country hurt the chain’s sales and reputation.

mcdonalds.chinaThe company plans to increase audits and video monitoring at its suppliers and send more employees to meat production facilities to ensure its food is prepared safely. It also named a new food safety officer and created a hotline where employees can report poor food safety practices, McDonald’s said in a statement on Tuesday.

The changes come after a TV report in July showed workers at the McDonald’s supplier Shanghai Husi Food Company repacking meat past its expiration date. McDonald’s stopped using the Shanghai plant and many restaurants were unable to provide some products, including Big Macs and Chicken McNuggets.

McDonald’s, based in Oak Brook, Ill., reported a 7.3 percent drop in July sales at its restaurants in Asia, the Middle East and Africa. Other fast-food companies have been hurt by food safety concerns in China. Husi, owned by OSI Group, based in Aurora, Ill., was also accused of selling old meat to KFC. KFC also stopped using meat from the plant.