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Fake-mutton scandal slows meat sales in NE China

(China Daily)

10:08, February 05, 2013

Market traders and restaurants in Northeast China have seen sales slump after a meatpacking factory was found using cheap duck meat and additives to replicate mutton and beef slices.

Police seized more than 50 metric tons of products at Shengtai Meat Processing Plant in Liaoning province's Liaoyang county, the Ministry of Public Security said on Sunday.

The products were made from duck meat steeped in mutton fat and other additives, in order to lower production costs, according to a statement posted on the ministry's website.

Samples of the tainted meat products were found to contain excessive levels of nitrite, the statement said.

The amount of sodium nitrite, which is a major ingredient in nitrite, in the tainted products was 8.69 grams per kilogram, far exceeding the national standard for fresh and frozen meat, Beijing Times reported on Monday.

For adults, ingesting 3 grams of sodium nitrite can kill, the report said.

The factory had sold some of its fake meat products to small restaurants in the area. So far, police have recovered most of the products, the ministry said.

Thirty-four people have been detained, the ministry said.

The factory has been closed and the county authorities will cancel its business license, according to Yu Shaoming, head of Liaoyang's information office.

"The factory has a legitimate license, but they do underground production. They are very cunning," he said.

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