Nobody has ever accused Pizza Hut of serving up the healthiest food, but a joint investigation by Tempo magazine and BBC Indonesia claims to have found evidence that the popular chain of pizza restaurants, as well as its sister chain Pizza Hut Delivery (PHD) and Marugame Udon, have been using expired ingredients in their products.
The investigation found that it was corporate policy at the three restaurant chains to continue to use ingredients for up to three months after the official expiration date listed on their packaging.
The three restaurant chains are part of the Sriboga Food Group. According to BBC Indonesia, the investigation was started after a high-ranking insider at the company tried to end the practice, but was unable to do so internally and so decided to reach out to the media.
The insider gave the media outlet access to numerous internal documents that showed that the policy to continue using expired ingredients came from the company’s top management.
Among the ingredients that were supposedly used after their expiration date were “puff pastry”, “citrus marinade”, “carbonara sauce mix”, “veggie chicken sausage” and “bonito powder” and “tempura sauce”.
Both Sarimelati Kencana, which manages Pizza Hut and PHD, and Sriboga Marugame Indonesia, which manages Marugame Udon, issued statements yesterday denying the allegations, saying they only use “high-quality food materials worthy of consumption”
According to BBC Indonesia, police have already done investigations into expired products being used at Marugame Udon, but have not yet started looking into the claims against the Pizza Hut chains.
The potential legal ramifications for the restaurants are not yet clear, but according to anecdotal evidence from the Jakarta Post, Pizza Hut customers they interviewed are apparently not put off by the news.