Authorities in China have detained five people in its investigation of Husi Food Co., which has been accused of selling expired poultry and beef to restaurant chains in China. Husi Food Co. is a subsidiary of Illinois-based OSI Group.

Chinese police did not release the names of those taken into custody, but did identify one as a person responsible for Husi Food Co. and another as a quality supervisor for the company, the Wall Street Journal reported.

Authorities told the state-controlled news agency Xinhua that there is reason to believe that the food safety violations were not the act of an individual, but rather a plan organized by the company.


The investigation into Husi Food Co. was launched after China’s Dragon TV reported that the company had taken expired beef and poultry meat, repackaged it with false expiration dates, and sold it to a group of restaurants with a presence in China, including KFC, Pizza Hut, McDonald’s and Dicos. All four of the restaurant chains have stopped purchasing from Husi Food Co.

Since news of the expired meat scandal broke, several other restaurant chains, including Burger King, Starbucks and Papa John’s have identified meat products purchased from Husi, and have also stopped doing business with the company.

OSI Group has apologized for the incident and launched its own investigation into the matter.