By  on March 19, 2012

SHANGHAI — A Carrefour store in central China was ordered to shut down Sunday following accusations of expiration date tampering and ordinary chicken being labeled as free range meat.

The French hypermarket in Zhengzhou, the capital of Henan province, received a temporary shutdown order from the local industry and commerce bureau after state media reported the store was selling expired and mislabeled meat.

The state-owned China Central Television station broke the story on the labeling controversy last Thursday, which was also China’s Consumer Rights Day.

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“According to the law on protection of consumer rights and interests, our office on March 18 issued an order for Carrefour’s Huayuan branch to cease and reorganize operations. After reorganization is completed to meet standards, it can resume operations,” the local industry and commerce department said.

Carrefour in China posted an apology for the incident on its Web site, which said the company was taking measures to resolve any food safety issues.

“Carrefour China attaches great importance to…reports of fresh food product quality management at the Zhengzhou Huayuan store and sincerely apologizes for any impact or losses suffered by consumers,” the statement said.

This is the latest in a string of food safety scandals involving foreign companies in China. Last week, food safety authorities announced an investigation into quality problems at a Beijing branch of McDonald’s, and last October Wal-Mart stores in the southwest city of Chongqing were closed for two weeks after fraudulently labeling and pricing ordinary pork as free-range meat.

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