McDonald’s Korea Files Court Injunction to Stop Release of Food Inspection Results

From my perspective the McDonald’s in South Korea always seem cleaner and more professionally run than most I see back in the US:

An inspector of the Korea Consumer Agency leaves a McDonald’s restaurant in Gangnam, Seoul, carrying an ordinary paper bag without an airtight sterilization container./ Courtesy of McDonald’s Korea

McDonald’s Korea has filed a court injunction against the disclosure of the results of the Korea Consumer Agency’s sanitary inspection, the U.S.-based fast food chain said Wednesday.

The agency recently investigated 38 hamburgers marketed by six fast food franchises and five convenience store chains, following lawsuits over alleged undercooked McDonald’s patties.

Five Korean consumers have sued the company so far, claiming their children suffered hemolytic-uremic syndrome (HUS), or the so-called “hamburger disease,” after eating McDonald’s hamburgers.

Although none of the products contained the controversial E. coli bacteria, which is known to cause HUS, the agency found that one McDonald’s hamburger contained staphylococcus aureus above the standard level. The bacterium is a common cause of food poisoning.

The agency initially planned to unveil its findings Tuesday, but scrapped the plan following McDonald’s Korea’s complaint that was applied a day earlier.

McDonald’s Korea criticized the agency for neglecting the required procedures.

“Food hygiene tests should be conducted by trained inspectors who should not hide their identity. A sample should be contained in an airtight sterilization container as well,” a spokeswoman of McDonald’s Korea said.

“However, an inspector, who visited our Gangnam store, pretended to be an ordinary customer. He also carried the sample in a paper bag, not immediately putting it into an airtight sterilization container.”  [Korea Times]

You can read the rest at the link, but I can understand McDonald’s beef (pun intended) if the inspectors are not conducting inspections by agreed upon standards.

Picture of the Day: The McDonald’s Goddess

A woman dubbed the ‘McDonald’s Goddess’ for her striking looks has been the cause of a surge of sales at a Taiwan branch of the fast food restaurant.

Wei Han Xu has become an Internet icon after pictures of her, including the one above, were shared online by blogger RainDog.

Photos showed her serving customers and buttoning up her shirt while she stood behind the counter.

Rather than wearing an unflattering work outfit, Xu is seen wearing a short skirt and fierce high-heel shoes as she cleans the counter and serves up Big Macs.

Smitten fans became obsessed with finding out where their McDonald’s goddess worked and they poured into the restaurant once they found out.

Doll-like Xu – who is also known as WeiWei – is fine with the fame, having already appeared on Taiwanese game shows. [Tumblr]

Could you imagine the feminist reaction in the US if a McDonald’s tried to have their workers dress in a maid outfit?

Picture of the Day: McDonald’s Protest In Seoul

Against McDonald's

Representatives of Alba Yeondae, a union for part-time workers, stage a rally in front of a McDonald’s outlet in Seoul on March 19, 2015. They insisted that thousands of McDonald’s workers, who are affiliated with the union, have been told by their bosses to come to work later or leave earlier than scheduled so they could be paid less. (Yonhap)

Korean Workers Protest for Higher Pay from McDonald’s

It seems that McDonald’s workers in South Korea are also motivated to get themselves replaced by machines:

The leader of protests against McDonald’s “culture of exploitation” of young part-time workers vowed Monday to continue fighting until the firm corrects its practices.

“If the company doesn’t respond to our demands, we will continue to raise our voice on the streets,” Lee Hae-jung, secretary general of the Arbeit Workers Union (AWU), told The Korea Times. “After our protest on Friday, we are waiting for a response from McDonald’s. Another protest will be held.”

A group of part-time workers occupied a McDonald’s outlet in Shinchon, near Yonsei University, Saturday, to demand “higher wages, fair working conditions and union activities within the company.”

“We have received many favorable reactions since then, especially from those who work at other fast-food restaurants,” Lee said. “Many showed empathy when we said it is unfair that most of employees at one of the world’s biggest companies eke out a living on minimum wage.”  [Korea Times]

In response, McDonald’s said it did not break any laws in hiring and managing its employees.

“What the union is saying is a complete distortion. McDonald’s clearly abides by the Labor Law,” the company said.

In December, the U.S. National Labor Relations Board’s Office of the General Counsel also filed complaints against McDonald’s, accusing it of labor violations.

Complaints were filed in 78 cases, claiming that McDonald’s workers in the U.S. were fired or intimidated for participating in union organizing and in a national protest movement calling for higher wages.

Most McDonald’s workers in Korea earn a minimum hourly wage of 5,580 won ($5.10). Meanwhile, the company had a profit of $5.5 billion on sales of $27.5 billion in 2012.

The AWU wants a wage increase to 10,000 won an hour.  [Korea Times]

You can read more at the link, but I have already seen some restaurants experimenting with touch screen ordering.  How hard would it be for McDonald’s to put up touch screens for customers to order from and then a worker brings the food out to them?