by Staff Writers
Beijing (AFP) March 19, 2012
French retail giant Carrefour has been forced to shut down a store in central China that allegedly sold expired meat products, an official said Monday.
The closure comes after the retailer's outlet in Henan province was exposed by national broadcaster China Central Television (CCTV) for also passing off regular poultry as more expensive free-range chicken, the official told AFP.
"The shop reported by CCTV is closed now and we don't know when it will open again," the official surnamed Zhao with the Zhengzhou Trade and Industry Bureau said.
"We are investigating this supermarket for fake products and for outdated products."
Staff at the Zhengzhou store confirmed to AFP by phone that the outlet had been closed since Sunday.
A spokesman for Carrefour China said the retailer was cooperating with government inspectors and apologised to consumers for the incident.
"Carrefour China has also immediately put in place corrective actions and taken all necessary measures to ensure that these practises will not reoccur in the future," the spokesman said in an email.
Carrefour runs over 200 mega-markets in China.
Chinese authorities have vowed repeatedly to improve food safety but this has proven to be difficult due to weak enforcement and lax business practices.
The CCTV investigative report, run on March 15 on international consumer's day, also accused a Beijing store run by American fast food giant McDonald's of selling expired food, including chicken wings.
According to the People's Daily, the government, following the report, ordered McDonald's to revise food safety measures at its stores in China.
The cases are the latest in a long list of high-profile food safety problems to hit China that have included pork deliberately laced with chemicals, dyed buns, tainted milk and cancer-causing recycled cooking oil.
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Facebook-style microcredit site helps China farmers
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