Walmart recalled donkey meat after the DNA of other animals was discovered in the meat during an inspection by China’s Food and Drug Administration. The meat was sold in China under the label of “Five Spice” donkey meat. Walmart will reimburse the consumers for their purchases of the recalled donkey meat, according to NBC News on Jan. 2.
Walmart is also cooperating with authorities in their investigation into the Chinese food supplier who shipped the meat to Walmart. Gaining the trust of the Chinese people around offering quality in their products is important today as Walmart plans to open 110 new stores in China in the next few years.
The new stores are part of the retail and grocery giant’s latest bid to get a sizable piece of China’s $1 trillion food and grocery market today. Selling tainted donkey meat doesn’t fare well for the chain when it comes to the wealthy shoppers, suggests Shaun Rein, the managing director of the China Market Research Group.
Donkey meat probably doesn’t appeal to the majority of the population in the U.S., but it is a favorite among the Chinese people as snack. The donkey meat market only accounts for a small fraction of the meat sold in China, but much like U.S. citizens, folks in China want to trust that they are buying what the label indicates. Shoppers want to purchase the product without worrying it could be tainted with an unwanted ingredient.
The person in charge at the meat plant that produced the tainted donkey meat has been detained and the investigation continues today. The president of the Walmart in China released an apology and called the discovery of the tainted meat “a deep lesson,” and he also said that the company will continue to “increase investment in supplier management.”