Chinese Firm at Centre of Food Safety Scandal Halts Production

CHINA - More than 300 workers have been laid off at OSI Group's subsidiary, Shanghai Husi Food and production is not expected to resume soon.
calendar icon 24 September 2014
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OSI Group, which has been at the centre of a major food scandal in China, has said this week that it will lay off 340 employees at its Chinese subsidiary, Shanghai Husi Food.

According to International Business Times, the unit was accused in July of supplying expired beef and chicken to local outlets of McDonald's, KFC and other major restaurant chains.

Most workers at Shanghai Husi, which reportedly employs nearly 500 people, were on paid leave since 21 July, Illinois-based OSI Group said in a statement, adding that it had expected to quickly resume work at the facility. However, the supplier incurred significant losses at its Chinese unit, which lost orders and clients, after the local government launched an inquiry into the allegations, forcing it to lay off most of its local workers, according to the statement.

The statement added: “It was our expectation that they could resume their work as soon as possible. Unfortunately, due to circumstances beyond our control, this will not be the case. It is very unlikely that production will be resumed soon.”

OSI, which has launched its own inquiry into the allegations, said that a small number of employees will be retained at the unit until the investigation is complete. Of the 340 employees who are to be laid off, 226 workers are directly employed by Shanghai Husi while the rest are employed as contractors.

OSI also said in the statement that it will provide the workers with a severance package and help them find new jobs.

The International Business Times report adds that, following reports in local media in July that the local OSI unit was supplying stale meat, the company had announced that it will recall all of its products made at the Shanghai Husi unit. Chinese authorities suspended operations at the unit and arrested six of its employees.

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