Wal-Mart Stores Inc. was forced to recall donkey meat sold under the “Five Spice” brand name from some stores in China when tests revealed the meat also contained DNA from other animals. According to a Jan. 2 report on NBC World News, Wal-Mart is reimbursing customers who bought the meat product.
The company is also working closely with authorities in the eastern part of the Shandong Province to investigate its Chinese supplier. The announcement came on China’s version of Twitter, called Weibo. THE FDA of Shandong said their investigations concluded the tainted meat product contained fox meat.
China represents a $1trillion food and grocery industry and Wal-Mart’s reputation there could be severely damaged there by this recall. It currently has plans to open 110 new stores over the next few years in China, the largest grocery market in the world. That market is expected to exceed $1.5 trillion by 2016.
Some areas of China consider donkey meat a popular snack food. Over 2.4 million donkeys were slaughtered in China but this only accounts for a small portion of the nation’s meat consumption.
Wal-Mart’s Chinese president, CEO Greg Foran, apologized for the whole affair, saying it was a deep lesson, showing they had to increase the level of investment they put into supplier management. The company also said it was investigating internally as well as working with authorities. It intends to work to strengthen food safety rules and it will pursue legal action against the supplier. A person in charge at the supplier’s factory has already been detained.
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