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New York (AFP) — McDonald’s suffered a drop in July sales after reports that it was using unsafe meat in China hit sales in Asia, the company said Friday.

Global comparable sales at the U.S. fast-food giant dropped 2.5 percent, with sales in the Asia/Pacific, Middle East, and Africa region plummeting 7.3 percent.

McDonald’s July sales in the United States dropped 3.2 percent, while European sales rose 0.5 percent.

On July 21 Chinese officials shut the Shanghai Husi Food Co. following a television report alleging the plant mixed out-of-date meat with fresh product that was then supplied to McDonalds. Police later detained five Shanghai Husi officials.

Last week, McDonald’s said it stopped using food from all Chinese plants owned by Shanghai Husi’s parent, U.S.-based OSI Group.

Japanese McDonald’s restaurants also halted the sale of products made with chicken from China.

McDonald’s has apologized for the safety problems and pledged to tighten oversight of food suppliers.

Shares of McDonald’s dropped 0.3 percent to $92.99 in pre-market trade.

AFP Photo/Philippe Lopez

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