China's Latest Food Scandal: Meat Injected With Dirty Water
Seven people in China 's southern Guangdong province have been held over claims they injecte...
Seven people in China's southern Guangdong province have been held over claims they injected dirty pond water into lamb to increase its weight and raise its price, state television reported in the latest food scandal to hit the country.
The suspects slaughtered up to 100 sheep a day at an illegal warehouse, pumping bacteria-ridden water into the meat before it was sold at markets, food stalls and restaurants in cities such as Guangzhou and Foshan, China Central Television (CCTV) said in a three-minute report.
China has been hit by a number of food safety scandals, from deadly chemical-laced dairy products to recycled "gutter oil" used for cooking.
Last week, Wal-Mart Stores, the world's largest retailer, apologised after a Chinese supplier of donkey meat snacks was found to have mixed fox meat into the product.
Authorities raided the illegal lamb meat abattoir in Guangdong at the end of December, finding around 30 carcasses injected with water, 335 live sheep, forged inspection stamps, and equipment to inject water into the meat, the report showed.
Each sheep was pumped with up to six kilogrammes of water just after being slaughtered, to add extra weight.
Close to 40% of Chinese people think food safety is a "very big problem", the Pew Research Centre said in a 2013 report. This has affected Chinese firms, from milk powder makers to meat producers, and boosted their international rivals.
Late in December, China said it would tighten milk powder rules in a move to boost confidence in domestic producers and allay long-standing fears around food safety in its $12.4bn (£7.6bn) infant formula market.
KFC parent Yum Brands, McDonald's, French grocery chain Carrefour and other global firms have been caught up in food safety scares in China.