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BEIJING – A meat scandal at a U.S.-owned supplier has wiped favorite items from McDonald’s menus across China, leaving some branches selling only drinks, fries and desserts Monday. The chain withdrew meat products, including Big Macs, from stores across mainland China and Hong Kong after a TV station aired video purporting to show the supplier reprocessing and selling meat that was past its expiry date.

Regulators closed the facilities of Shanghai-based Husi Food Co., whose parent company is Illinois-based OSI Group Inc., leaving McDonalds without enough meat in China where it has its third largest number of restaurants in the world. Patrons in Beijing were greeted Monday with printed signs apologizing and restricting the menu to drinks, fries and desserts. Some stores were selling Filet O’Fish. In a statement, McDonald’s said it had “withdrawn all products from the Husi Group in China” and warned it could be early August before the problem is resolved. The scandal also hit Yum Brands, the parent company of KFC, although KFC restaurants across Beijing appeared to be operating normally. The scandal could be a major problem for OSI, which reportedly has been supplying McDonalds in China since 1992 and KFC and Pizza Hut since 2008.

Signs apologizing for the meat shortages were on display at a branch of McDonald's in Beijing Monday.Shaoyi Jiang / NBC News



- Ed Flanagan