McDonald’s Corp. (MCD) and Yum! Brands Inc. (YUM) halted buying meat products from a Shanghai supplier while authorities investigate allegations that the company sold chicken and beef past their expiration date.

McDonald’s asked all its outlets to stop using products from Shanghai Husi Food Co., according to statements on the companies’ official Chinese microblog yesterday. Yum’s KFC and Pizza Hut restaurants did the same, the company said in a separate statement. Both restaurant chains said the move would result in shortages of some items and apologized to consumers for the inconvenience. Starbucks Corp., which also was affected, removed one product from its menu.

Shanghai authorities suspended operations at Shanghai Husi on the same day the local Dragon TV channel reported that Husi workers were repackaging and selling chicken and beef that had exceeded its sell-by date. The allegations renew concerns about unsafe food in China following abuses that have included fox DNA found in donkey meat and the lacing of baby formula with melamine, a compound used in plastics.

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