Food safety in China

IkeaChina has a well-earned reputation for careless disregard for the safety of their food supply (follow this link for the ‘top 10 food scandals‘, for example).  Now with horsemeat concerns in the European food supply, and most recently Ikea meatballs, Ikea wanted to reassure the Chinese that the meatballs served in China are actually made in China, and are not tied to the horsemeat scandal in Europe.  Well, it kinda backfired, as it seems even the Chinese are losing faith in their food supply…and would rather have potentially horsemeat-laden meatballs from Europe than domestically produced meatballs.  As one person was quoted as saying, “I don’t really care about horse meat. The key point is that if it’s produced in China, it probably has rat meat.”  Hard to argue with that, based on recent history.

Could be worse though…when testing for horse DNA in meat pies produced in Iceland, they found the meat pies actually contained no meat.  Lol.

Then another food surprise in China…in an effort to maximize profits, some vendors are selling walnuts filled with concrete.

Tilapia farms in China using pig feces as fish food

This is one of those stories that’s almost too ridiculous to believe until you remember that China has shown a great lack of concern for health in food products (remember the dog food scare, melamine in baby formula, pesticides in tea, and so on).  Now, in an effort to boost profits, some fish farms in China are using pig and goose feces as fish food.   Nutritious?  Perhaps, but this does increase the risk of bacterial infections like salmonella…and is just plain gross.

The article in Bloomberg also describes shrimp processing facilities in Vietnam, where the shrimp are packed in dirty tubs, covered with ice made from local tap water.

The FDA does inspect imported food, and has rejected a lot of shipments, but the thing is, the FDA only rejects about 2.7% of imported food.

“Made in China” – ok for cheap plastic junk, but not for food!  Not until they start taking health and quality seriously.

(via Bloomberg)

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