Guangdong police block dangerous frozen meat

Updated: 2016-09-19 09:43


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

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 news for Guangdong residents, who like to consume 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.