Plastic in food served at Japanese McDonald’s

McDonald’s Japan has apologized to customers and vowed to ensure product safety after objects including a tooth and plastic were found in its food.
The chain has been grappling with falling sales that began long before a food safety scandal last summer undermined confidence in its products. In addition to sliding sales, it has been affected by a shortage of French fries.
The apology on Wednesday came after a diner found a strip of vinyl roughly 1.5 inches long in a Chicken McNugget during the weekend. That prompted the chain to halt sales of nuggets made on the same day as the contaminated item at a plant in Thailand. The company is still investigating the cause.
A human tooth was found in a customer’s French fry in August, and a child cut his mouth in December on a piece of plastic in a chocolate sundae.
McDonald’s Japan is on track to record its sixth straight year of sales declines and its first annual loss in 11 years. The company brought in Sarah Casanova as chief executive in March to reverse the trend, but convenience stores in particular have drawn away customers with broader ranges of ready-made meals and low-priced coffee.
At a news conference on Wednesday, executives sought to reassure the public.
“I am confident that my family can eat McDonald’s products,” said Takehiko Aoki, senior vice president at McDonald’s Japan.
Asked whether the company had been slow to announce its findings, Mr. Aoki said, “I think our response has been appropriate.”
McDonald’s Japan started buying nuggets from three Thai plants less than six months ago. The change was aimed at bolstering confidence in product quality after the Chinese supplier Shanghai Husi Food was accused of using meat past its sell-by date.
The Thai plant that produced the nugget found to contain vinyl is in Saraburi and owned by Cargill, McDonald’s Japan said. Cargill Thailand was not immediately available for comment.
On Monday, right after the latest discovery, McDonald’s Japan resumed sales of
all sizes of French fries for the first time in three weeks. A labor dispute at ports on
the West Coast of the United States had delayed imports, forcing the company to
ration portions.

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