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McDonald's Japan hit by another food scandal

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Hardly a scandal though, more like an isolated incident.

15 ( +17 / -3 )

So this is how they view their workers, as "head count"? Why would anyone want to support this heartless corporation through their consumption, let alone serious health concerns, plastic in drinks or not.

McDonald's is not as heartless as you think. My best friend's wife is an executive at McDonald's. She started working there when she was a high school student, the restaurant she started at was located in Compton, Califorina (I used to live nearby in north Long Beach). It was one of the few places in the area which offered work of any kind to young people. Despite her poor background, she was smart, and worked hard, and McDonald's funded her university tuition the the PhD level. Does your company provide university tuition assistance to it's younger workers?

Like anyplace people work, McDonald's is a business, and their goal is to earn a profit. If they cannot earn a profit, they cannot employ anyone at all. McDonald's has provided the opportunity for many thousands of people to start their own businesses via their franchise system, and though they employ many minimum wage workers, they also employ many educated professionals, who are paid quite well. McDonald's contributes greatly to the economies of the places it operates, the stores pay property taxes, business taxes, sales tax, they consume electricity, gas, water, and other services. Their cheap food and fast services saves people time and money, which they can use for other things, and their restaurants bring in traffic to nearby businesses.

I think I will have lunch at McDonald's today.

10 ( +18 / -10 )

Gives junk food a new meaning...

9 ( +11 / -2 )

Agree with sensei. The news media feels the need to inflame public opinion though, so the headline says "scandal."

So this is how they view their workers, as "head count"?

You do understand that an AFP reporter wrote that word, not McDonald's?

9 ( +12 / -3 )

According to Yahoo News, McDonald's requires stores to use only company issued/authorized items. The issue stainless steel stencils for latte art. But this shop wanted to offer a greater variety of designs and used unauthorized plastic stencils. So it seems the problem is not so much with McDonald's the company as with this particular shop management. How the stencil got into the blender is still a mystery.

6 ( +7 / -1 )

I can see some worker in a rush not noticing what's in the cup, then blending it.

5 ( +7 / -2 )

Mitsuo is right. On their corporate website, McDonald's warned its own employees not to eat the food because it s unhealthy.

Really? Do you have a link to this warning?

McDonald's restaurants provide one meal per day for their staff, and get a 50% discount on meals on their off days, and this policy has existed for many years.

5 ( +8 / -2 )

What is a "green tea latte frappe"? Sounds pretty disgusting to begin with.

1 ( +7 / -6 )

@warispeace The term "head count" is a very common term, especially when your discussing operations and operating costs. I don't see the problem.

1 ( +3 / -2 )

RIP McDonald

1 ( +3 / -2 )

McDonalds is junk food and is not good for your health on a long term basis so avoid it at all costs.

1 ( +3 / -2 )

Moderation. Everything and anything in moderation will not hurt you.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

McDonald's Japan hit by another food scandal

How is this a scandal? Was the drink originally okay without the foreign objects being introduced? What's the point of causing mass panic and pointing another finger at McD? Nobody is forcing you to eat there.

0 ( +4 / -4 )

I wonder how it is in other parts of Japan. In Okinawa, even near the US bases, McDonalds have very few customers. I never eat there, but it's a convenient place to drink coffee and catch up with email because there is never any problem finding a seat.

What's it like in other areas?

0 ( +3 / -3 )

Not a big deal, in my opinion, and not really scandal-worthy. Sounds like a staff member put the spoon into the cup or something before blending in a simple, but stupid, error. If I ate at McDonalds more than once year or so I wouldn't stop because of this.

0 ( +5 / -5 )

Have a friend who used to be the biggest importer of potatoes into Japan. He was selling French fries to everybody by the container load. Anyway, at one point a customer at a fast food restaurant claimed to have found a needle in a French fry. This set off multiple rounds of testing, a full traceability audit that went all the way back to the US and a whole lot of meetings, where he had to bow to everybody. The net result of the analysis was that the case was proven to be an attempted fraud. The needle was shown to have not undergone any of the processing steps that French fries endure (peeling, grading, cutting, sorting, cooking, etc.). My friend was not impressed.

Speaking more generally, many food producers have inbuilt steps in their production processes to protect against things like this. For example, metal detectors that protect against cutting blade fragments ending up in the food. Then again, I7m not quite sure how they would go about detecting plastics.

0 ( +2 / -2 )

How can you be offended by the word "headcount"? People may think you have issues.

0 ( +3 / -3 )

McD's only offers 1 free meal/day for managers(discretion of franchise though) and they refuse to give staff a livable amount of hours. My girlfriend is unable to afford anything and it's difficult to get an extra job because mgmt will only post next week's schedule at the beginning of each week, allowing very little room for flexibility.16-20 hrs/week is unlivable. And these businesses are turning profits. Huge ones. And they greedily want more. The McD's penalizes/removes head managers unless the place is ran like boot camp, making the work conditions miserable. Of course, after being forced to work all major holidays they are given regular pay and some free meal coupons. Coachella Valley.

0 ( +3 / -3 )

People still eat at McDonald's?

0 ( +3 / -3 )

But this shop wanted to offer a greater variety of designs and used unauthorized plastic stencils. So it seems the problem is not so much with McDonald's the company as with this particular shop management.

If this is correct then yeah, the problem is with that shop's management.

I wonder how it is in other parts of Japan. In Okinawa, even near the US bases, McDonalds have very few customers. I never eat there, but it's a convenient place to drink coffee and catch up with email because there is never any problem finding a seat.

What's it like in other areas?

Like any business, it varies from place to place. According to McDonalds, the Pushkin Square McDonalds in Moscow, Russia (opened in 1990) - a 900-seat behemoth - is still the corporation's busiest store in daily sales. The ones around where I live still are busy enough to justify staying open 24-hours a day.

Mitsuo is right. On their corporate website, McDonald's warned its own employees not to eat the food because it s unhealthy.

...and on Sensei258's website, he admitted that everything he has ever typed is an outright lie. I'd provide a link to the website to prove my statement is true, but...

But what's wrong is promoting their food as nutritious when in reality it is unhealthy food high in fat, sugar, and salt, and low in fiber, and vitamins.

I suppose that would depend on what YOU decide to eat off the menu. The sandwich I eat when I go there? The Bacon Clubhouse (grilled chicken). An "artisan" bun (more on that later), grilled chicken breast, bacon, cheese, tomato slice, lettuce and no Big Mac sauce. The only notable fat is in the bacon, and the percentage of the sandwich that the bacon makes up is very small. Sugar? The only sugar of any note is the fructose in the tomato. Salt? YEP! They salt and pepper the chicken breast while grilling it but unlike some people on this planet, I realize that salt is a necessary dietary supplement and your body tells you when you have too much salt already by how food tastes. Fiber? You know I haven't been a big fan of fiber all my life and haven't yet faced a health issue because of it. (Knock on wood) I'm just not convinced that fiber is such a big deal that I have to worry about it from day to day. Vitamins? You go to a restaurant to get your vitamins? I just head down to the local drug/grocery store if i think I'm having a vitamin deficiency. They're 100 times cheaper than trying to get your vitamin requirements from restaurant food.

Re "artisan" buns and chicken; This is the only real knock I currently have on McDonalds operations. Everything these days is on an "artisan" bun that is mass produced in assembly-line ovens and - at least in the States - McDonalds is selling an "Artisan Grilled Chicken" sandwich. Seriously? Some 17-year-old in the back cooking the grilled chicken can be called an "artisan"?! This is a slap in the face to every TRUE artisan out there who spent years as an apprentice and more years as a journeyman before acquiring the "Artisan" status. Sorry McDonalds, you don't get to redefine a reserved word just so it can be used in your marketing scheme.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

How about selling chicken nugget in Japan that use breast meat like the US stores?

0 ( +0 / -0 )

"That's how they do it in USA, lose fingertip somehow, put in the chili, claim emotional distress."

You cited Wikipedia, but I think the relevant citation is The Big Llebowski.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

I can see how this would actually be construed as a scandal rather than some sort of one off incident. Mcdonald's business model is entirely based on pushing food over the counter as fast as possible. This has a lot of advantages, but quality control is not one of them. In a different kind of restaurant the staff would be more likely to notice that a drink they were serving was full of broken plastic, but Mcdonalds (and most fast food places following a similar model) has a system that almost guatantees that screw ups like this will slip through to the customer from time to time. I think itis fair for them to get some bad publicity for this. Probably most other restaurants would get way less attention for a similar incident of course, but with Mcdonalds poor track record they have really invited the increased media attention and have no one to blame but themselves.

-1 ( +2 / -3 )

a small set of lunch that will damage their healthy rather than paying for a delicious and healthy food that they can eat a lot for same price.

All things should be in moderation. Eating too much rice is unhealthy, drinking too much water is also unhealthy, as is drinking too much beer, or eating too much raw fish. Some people (maybe too many) find McDonald's food to be delicious, or there would not be thousands of McDonalds restaurants.

I go to McDonalds because the food is tasty, the price is reasonable, I can usually find a seat, and the service is very fast. And say what you like for the quality or safety of the food, but on the whole, McDonald's food is likely safer and fresher than what you will find in smaller restaurants. I passed by a Chinese restaurant yesterday where the two cooks were smoking cigarettes while making soup and frying vegetables, and the workspace was covered with refuse, yet there was a line of people waiting to be served lunch. I would feel much safer eating at McDonalds.

-1 ( +2 / -3 )

I never quite understood how McDonalds became so popular in Japan, considering this country's outstanding food culture. Or in any other country with good food for that matter. It is surprisingly popular in France.

-1 ( +1 / -2 )

The gift that keeps on giving.

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

Maybe in Japan, most McDonald's staff work as part time works, like high school students, or housewives. As a part time worker, they don't regard work seriously. If McDonald's employee more full-time staff, I hope condition will get better.

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

Muck Donald's!

-2 ( +1 / -3 )

In Okinawa, even near the US bases, McDonalds have very few customers.

US bases have all the American food they need with supermarkets and restaurants on the base. I did see a lot at A&W though with their all you can drink root beer. Man, gotta get out there soon.

-2 ( +1 / -3 )

McDonald's only interest is money like all other multinational corporation and that alright. But what's wrong is promoting their food as nutritious when in reality it is unhealthy food high in fat, sugar, and salt, and low in fiber, and vitamins. A diet of this type is linked with a greater risk of heart disease, cancer, diabetes and other diseases. Their food also contains many chemical additives, some of which may cause ill-health. So that's what's wrong.

-2 ( +0 / -2 )

Why no fingertips?

That's how they do it in USA, lose fingertip somehow, put in the chili, claim emotional distress.

Seems like Japan would have lots of spare fingertips.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Anna_Ayala

-2 ( +0 / -2 )

The biggest scandal at McDonalds Japan which is yet to break is that they have carried on using transfats in food they serve to Japanese customers despite removing it completely in most other countries such as US and UK.

-2 ( +2 / -4 )

@BertieWooster

I wonder how it is in other parts of Japan. In Okinawa, even near the US bases, McDonalds have very few customers. What's it like in other areas?

I think the traffic levels match my expectations for Stateside fast-food places. They are NEVER jam-packed with people, maybe a few sit-down customers but mostly people use the drive-thru. That said, the Kokusai-dori McD's is consistently crowded at night.

As for other areas, the most packed McD's I can remember is in Osaka's Shinsaibashi. After about 3am it's full of snack girls, the nightclub crowd, etc.... Might as well get xtra-large fries and a soda while waiting for the morning train to take them home.

@SuzanneStarr

McD's only offers 1 free meal/day for managers(discretion of franchise though) and they refuse to give staff a livable >amount of hours. My girlfriend is unable to afford anything and it's difficult to get an extra job because mgmt will only >post next week's schedule at the beginning of each week, allowing very little room for flexibility.16-20 hrs/week is >unlivable.

Is that US or Japan? My friend's #2 mistress works at McD's Japan, and she works 12-15 hour shifts several times per week (which is insane IMO).

-2 ( +0 / -2 )

don`t trust anything that came from China.

-3 ( +12 / -14 )

while reducing its headcount in a bid to cut costs.

So this is how they view their workers, as "head count"? Why would anyone want to support this heartless corporation through their consumption, let alone serious health concerns, plastic in drinks or not.

-3 ( +3 / -7 )

@wontond

@warispeace The term "head count" is a very common term, especially when your discussing operations and operating costs. I don't see the problem.

That you and others don't see a problem with repeating and helping to normalize such a degrading term for an employee is also a problem. Terms like these allow management to distance themselves from the social harm they cause when they throw people out of their jobs. McDonald's made huge profits for years off of underpaid workers in Japan and the minute they have a loss, they "chop heads" rather than being loyal to their employees. How can anybody be lovin it?

-3 ( +0 / -3 )

Disgruntled employee??

-3 ( +0 / -3 )

@ sangetsu03

Do you have a link to this warning?

There's a really nest internet tool called a "search engine", look for yourself, I don't work for you.

-3 ( +0 / -3 )

to be honesty with you, the McDonald's doesn't care about costumers healthy. The only things he cares is your money.

Young people are stupid. They prefer to pay Y$600 to Y$800 for a small set of lunch that will damage their healthy rather than paying for a delicious and healthy food that they can eat a lot for same price.

-4 ( +7 / -11 )

Would you like your frappe with or without plastic? Umm. I'll go for the plastic today.

-4 ( +1 / -5 )

@arimura

How can you be offended by the word "headcount"? People may think you have issues.

I explained why I am against the use of the term and find it offensive to workers, can you not read? You, on the other hand, explained nothing and just went for a personal attack. What does that reveal about you?

-4 ( +0 / -4 )

McDonalds seems now facing the end of business in Japan. Too many scandals to survive.

-5 ( +3 / -8 )

**commanteerSEP. 05, 2015 - 08:06AM JST Agree with sensei. The news media feels the need to inflame public opinion though, so the headline says "scandal."

Yeah, if this happened to you, you would say it is "scandalous." Amazing how something that happens to you makes it all seem far more REAL--but conservatives don't seem yo get this point. The key thing to remember is that HOW MANY other unreported incidents were there. There were 10,000s of frappes made at Mcdonalds and so it is easy to see how these workers who are pushed to the limit and paid poorly to boot, and maybe might get 5 yen more if they worked even harder, IF that was possible might be making mistakes a lot.

Sangetsu: you are what you eat. Mcdonalds is trash food--vinyl, human teeth, and now plastic found in the food, and the "food" is of the lowest quality and nutrition. Haven't you ever seen fast food inc.?

-6 ( +2 / -8 )

Mitsuo is right. On their corporate website, McDonald's warned its own employees not to eat the food because it s unhealthy.

-8 ( +2 / -10 )

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