McDonald’s Japan turns to tofu nuggets in wake of China meat scandal

McDonald’s restaurants in Japan are turning to time-honoured Asian soul food—tofu—as the chain scrambles to minimise the damage from an embarrassing tainted meat scandal in China. The fast-food giant’s branches in Japan on Wednesday started selling “Tofu Shinjo” nuggets modelled on a traditional side dish that meshes tofu, vegetables and fish. For 249 yen (US$2.40), customers can sink their teeth into four pieces of the chicken-free creation.

It is a part of wider, limited-time-only offering for the summer featuring a Japanese-style menu.

McDonald’s spokesperson

The rollout comes days after the firm said that its Japanese restaurants had stopped sourcing poultry products from a nugget supplier in Shanghai, in response to a scandal that saw expired meat sold to fast-food giants. On Tuesday, McDonald’s Japan President Sarah Casanova made a televised apology, as she warned the “appalling” incident—and subsequent switch to chicken suppliers in Thailand to plug the gap—would depress company profits. The disgraced factory and other Chinese distributors had supplied nearly 40 per cent of the chicken used for McDonald’s Japanese restaurants.