Business Intelligence on Retailing, Franchising, and Consumerism in China

Shanghai: Beef Found Injected With Water

According to local officials in Shanghai, a shopper's complaint about finding beef saturated with water in a local market has sparked a city-wide inspection of farm products.

Following in the wake of scandals over milk and medicine, the investigation highlights China's struggle to enforce higher food safety standards.

It is widespread practice, in China and elsewhere, to inject water into meat to increase its weight and thus enhance the seller's profits. However the practice carries the risk of spoilage or contamination with chemicals or industrial waste.

Weng Yuwen, an official in the public affairs department of the Shanghai Industrial and Commercial Administration stated that to ensure consumers' health and rights, the administration would work with the Shanghai Food and Drug Administration to set up regular inspections of all farm products in wholesale markets.

Weng said inspectors confiscated 5 kilograms of waterlogged beef from the city's Southwest Agricultural Trade Market after a shopper complained about buying what turned out to be a suspiciously soggy rump steak.

But they believe more of the waterlogged meat is still in the market.

According to local media reports much of the suspect beef came from suppliers in Jiashan, Zhejiang.

Recently a delegate to a top government advisory body proposed a new monitoring system for the meat industry, saying that waterlogged meat was a long-standing health hazard.

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