Epoxy found in a McDonald’s shrimp burger

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Epoxy found in a McDonald’s shrimp burger

A McDonald’s shrimp burger was found to contain pieces of epoxy floor coating, Korea’s food safety authorities said Thursday.

The Ministry of Food and Drug Safety received a complaint from a consumer last month who claimed to have found plastic pieces inside a shrimp-burger patty purchased at a McDonald’s in Daegu.

The material was found to be epoxy, a material commonly used for commercial and industrial floor coatings. It can disrupt the body’s endocrine system, a collection of hormone-producing glands, if consumed.

Upon investigation, the ministry determined that the pieces had made their way into the patty when employees at a supplier based in Thailand washed raw shrimp on the floor of their factory.

The ministry said it is considering a corrective order against the Korean company - not named by the ministry - that imported the shrimp from the supplier.

McDonald’s is not likely to face any punishment.

“We conducted thorough investigations when the foreign substances might have entered the patty,” said a Ministry spokesperson.

“It is difficult to hold McDonald’s responsible as the foreign substances were found inside the patty. It is also difficult for us to charge the Thai company.”

No other customers have since reported finding foreign substances in their shrimp burgers. McDonald’s said it returned all possibly contaminated patties back to providers upon learning of the problem.

The burger company expressed its regrets and vowed to take measures to prevent similar incidents from reoccurring.

“Regarding the partners found responsible, we will now be conducting more inspections and mandate our partners to train employees to uphold stronger standards of quality control,” said a McDonald’s spokesperson.

“We prioritize food safety, and are trying our best to provide only safe and high-quality products to consumers.”

BY KIM EUN-JIN [kim.eunjin1@joongang.co.kr]
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