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McDonald's feels 'bit deceived' by audit results from China plant

A customer using his mobile phone is seen next to a McDonald's logo at a McDonald's store in Tokyo July 22, 2014. REUTERS/Yuya Shino

By Lisa Baertlein

(Reuters) - McDonald's Corp (MCD.N) Chief Executive Don Thompson said the company feels "a bit deceived" by the audit it received for China supplier Shanghai Husi Food Co Ltd, which was shut down after a television report showed workers mishandling meat and mixing fresh meat with product past its expiration date.

"We are no longer serving product from the primary facility there that has the challenges and the issues," Thompson said on a conference call following its quarterly report on Tuesday.

McDonald's and many other food companies rely on third parties to perform audits to check whether facilities are complying with food safety rules and other regulations. It is not uncommon for suppliers at the centre of food safety scandals to have received high marks on their audits.

McDonald's did not immediately comment on the timing of the Husi Food audit or the name of the auditing firm that visited its now controversial plant on its behalf.

Husi Food is a unit of Illinois-based OSI Group.

"I know there's a couple other facilities that they had that have been cleared now by the Chinese government," Thompson said.

It was not immediately clear whether McDonald's had stopped sourcing products from those other facilities.

(Reporting by Lisa Baertlein in Los Angeles)