Global foodservice company Compass Group is likely to face an investigation after Chinese authorities found mouldy and expired food at Shanghai SMIC Private School.

The market supervisory administration has launched an investigation against Shanghai Eurest Food Technologies Service, a local unit of Compass Group that handles qualifications and food safety controls at SMIC school, reported Reuters.

In a statement, Shanghai SMIC Private School said: “On the afternoon of 19 October, parents of Shanghai SMIC Private School found certain expired or stale food, with suspicious date of manufacturing labelled on certain food items inside the kitchen of the school cafeteria during their inspection.

“The school board and the school management team are treating this very seriously and have held immediate emergency meetings Friday and Saturday with parents and also the school board. A special task force has also been established to address the issue.”

“We will renovate our current cafeteria facility and add more monitoring cameras so that all food processing is visible.”

The school has temporarily stopped catering services run by Shanghai Eurest.

SMIC will also work with the Pudong Education Bureau and other relevant government agencies to conduct a thorough investigation of the vendor, and legal action will be taken if necessary.

The school will select an interim foodservice provider following a review and approval by the government and it will suspend its cafeteria coordinator from work and give administrative reprimands to related supervisors.

The statement added: “The school takes full responsibility in failing to supervise the vendor and we are deeply saddened by this situation. We sincerely apologise to the students, the staff, and the parents, and in the future will pay extra attention to the health of our students.

“The school will strengthen its oversight of the food supplier and enhance the implementation of a more stringent food quality control process. We will renovate our current cafeteria facility and add more monitoring cameras so that all food processing is visible. The school management will work diligently to see this never happens again.”

Compass Group China has issued a statement apologising for this incident and has implemented actions such as a self-inspection and a long-term management system in response.