McDonald’s issued another apology yesterday for its part in the rotten meat scandal, saying a “lack of clarity” had confused people.

But the fast-food giant, accused of knowingly selling potentially tainted food, did not answer when asked if there had been a cover-up and refused to take questions on the debacle.

In a four-minute press briefing, McDonald’s managing director in Hong Kong, Randy Lai Wai-sze, said the company had “not communicated well” and promised it would never again source from the Shanghai Husi plant at the heart of the scandal.

“On behalf of McDonald’s Hong Kong management, I deeply apologise to Hong Kong consumers for the lack of clarity which has led to public confusion and anxiety and had disappointed our customers. Please accept my sincere apology,” she said.

The statement came two days after the Centre for Food Safety launched a probe into whether McDonald’s knowingly sold potentially tainted food from Shanghai Husi to the public over a four-day period last week.

McDonald’s initially denied using any products from the Shanghai plant. But last Thursday night, after the government banned the import and sales of Husi products, McDonald’s performed a U-turn and issued its first apology for “confusion”.

It also halted sales of several items, including chicken nuggets, after admitting it had imported chicken and pork from Shanghai Husi, which is accused of repackaging old meat.

After adding the one tonne of ingredients it collected from McDonald’s yesterday, the Centre for Food Safety last night said it had now sealed off 60 tonnes of ingredients supplied by Husi plants. It would supervise the chain as it disposed of remaining Husi ingredients collected from city branches this week.

McDonald’s had not lived up to its vow to “enhance” communications, said lawmaker Alice Mak Mei-kuen, who will meet food and health officials today.

Shanghai’s Communist Party chief Han Zheng promised harsh punishment for any enterprises that violated food safety regulations… see more