Chinese regulator inspects Pizza Hut stores over food safety issues

(Source: Reuters/Aly Song)

A Chinese district regulator said it is carrying out inspections of 45 Pizza Hut stores in Beijing after one was accused by media of food safety breaches.

The market regulator of Beijing’s Haidian district said it had visited the branch in question and looked at records of food materials purchases, storage and expiry dates.

The chain, run by Yum China, came under scrutiny earlier this week after the Beijing News reported two of its stores in Beijing, including the one in Haidian district, allegedly had fake expiration dates on products and had reused cooking oil for more than 10 days.

Pizza Hut said it had suspended the operation of the two outlets and was carrying out its own probe.

“We attach great importance to the issues reported by the media,” it said on its Weibo account, declining further comment.

The inspections come months after another Pizza Hut branch in Beijing was fined US$7394 by Fengtai district market authorities for using expired food materials. Pizza Hut has more than 2600 stores in China.

Chinese consumers and media have become increasingly sensitive about consumer rights and food safety after a series of scandals, and keep a close eye on the behaviour of big brands, especially those from abroad.

Market regulators in eight Chinese cities carried out inspections of Starbucks shops after the US coffee chain said in December it had found food safety issues at two outlets.

  • Reporting by Sophie Yu and Brenda Goh; Editing by Stephen Coates, of Reuters.

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