Guang­dong po­lice block dan­ger­ous frozen meat

Food prod­ucts worth $12.3 mil­lion on the black mar­ket are seized on ves­sel

China Daily (USA) - - CHINA - By ZHENG CAIXIONG in Guangzhou zheng­caix­iong@chi­nadaily.com.cn

I hope the au­thor­i­ties in­tro­duce more con­crete and ef­fec­tive mea­sures to pre­vent poi­sonous meat prod­ucts from en­ter­ing the city to en­sure that only qual­ity cui­sine is served.” Chen Yinghui, a house­wife in Guangzhou

Guang­dong po­lice seized about 1,000 tons of sub­stan­dard frozen meat prod­ucts worth more than 80 mil­lion yuan ($12.3 mil­lion) if taken to mar­ket, in a spe­cial op­er­a­tion late last week.

Ac­cord­ing to a state­ment from the Guang­dong marine po­lice de­part­ment, of­fi­cers de­tained 16 suspects dur­ing the op­er­a­tion, which took place in waters off the Shen­zhen spe­cial eco­nomic zone.

“A crim­i­nal gang that used to smug­gle frozen meat prod­ucts, along with marine smug­gling chan­nel in Guang­dong waters, were busted in the crack­down,” the state­ment said.

The smug­gled meat and vis­cera that were seized from three cold-stor­age units on a ves­sel with 16 sailors on board near Shen­zhen’s Dan­gan Is­land in­cluded beef cuts, beef tripe and cow tongue, as well as chicken wings and claws, with most of the pro­duce com­ing from the United States, Brazil and Thai­land, ac­cord­ing to the state­ment which was re­leased on Sun­day.

Meat and of­fal that was con­tained in pa­per boxes was said to have been il­le­gally soaked in bleach, which helps to re­move stains on the meat, in­crease its weight and ex­tend its ex­pi­ra­tion date.

A kilo­gram of beef weighs more than 1.5 kilo­grams when soaked in bleach, the state­ment said.

Crew on board the ship failed to pro­vide law en­force­ment per­son­nel with le­gal cer­tifi­cates for the frozen prod­ucts as po­lice searched the ves­sel.

The frozen prod­ucts, which are not on the im­port list of the State’s Gen­eral Ad­min­is­tra­tion of Qual­ity Su­per­vi­sion, In­spec­tion and Quar­an­tine, would have se­ri­ously harmed peo­ple’s health if they had suc­cess­fully en­tered China, the state­ment said.

An in­ves­ti­ga­tion is still on­go­ing, while the frozen prod­ucts that were seized have been trans­ferred to var­i­ous govern­ment de­part­ments for fur­ther in­spec­tion and ex­am­i­na­tion, the state­ment said.

Chen Yinghui, a house­wife in Guangzhou, said the bust was good news­for Guang­dong res­i­dents, who­like to­con­sume pork and beef of­fal dishes.

“I hope the au­thor­i­ties in­tro­duce more con­crete and ef­fec­tive mea­sures to pre­vent poi­sonous meat prod­ucts from en­ter­ing the city to en­sure that only qual­ity cui­sine is served in lo­cal restau­rants and on lo­cals’ din­ner ta­bles,” Chen told China Daily on Sun­day.

“Many res­i­dents have been scared by the grow­ing num­ber of cases in­volv­ing poi­sonous food in re­cent months,” she said.

Chen added that she fre­quently pur­chases beef of­fal dishes from lo­cal agri­cul­tural bazaars for her fam­ily.

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