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China recalls substandard Zongzi ahead of Dragon Boat Festival

By Cao Xiating (CNTV)    13:05, May 27, 2017

(Photo/CGTN)

The China Food and Drug Administration (CFDA) made public a list of problematic Zongzi, the traditional food for the upcoming Dragon Boat Festival, and released it on Friday.

Random inspections by the food safety watchdog revealed that five out of the 550 sampled products failed to meet health standards, among which are some brand name food items, according to the announcement released by the administration on its official website.

Zongzi, a kind of dumplings made of glutinous rice and other fillings wrapped up in bamboo leaves, is a popular traditional Chinese snack during the Dragon Boat Festival.

The tainted products include the jujube date Zongzi produced by Jianhaishen Food Co and sold at Beijing-based wholesaler Jingkelong’s Huairou store, the jujube date Zongzi and black rice Zongzi produced by Yuchengwei Food Co and sold by RT-Mart’s branch in east China’s Liaocheng city, the pork Zongzi and the Zongzi with mixed fillings produced by Sanquan Food Co and sold at Warmart’s store on Chaoyang East Road in southwest China’s Dazhou city.

The substandard Zongzi were found to bear either food-poisoning bacteria or banned additives. There were no reports of anyone falling ill from eating the products yet. The producers have been asked to recall their products, and no other punishments have been announced.

The Sanquan Food Co has filed a written objection, according to the CFDA announcement, but the company still can’t sell the allegedly unsafe products before it’s cleared of problems.

China’s authorities have strengthened food supervision in recent years, following a slew of food scandals that have triggered a crisis in the public’s confidence in the country’s food industry. The notorious 2008 melamine-contaminated milk scandal saw 300,000 babies sickened and six premature deaths.

Bi Jingquan, head of the China Food and Drug Administration, acknowledged that China still faces severe challenges to ensure food safety, despite improvements in recent years. "A number of problems still exist in food safety, and supervision still falls short of public expectations," Bi said at a March press conference.

He said the administration would tighten regulation and revise standards, and maintain a zero-tolerance attitude toward violations of laws, without elaborating on the reform details.

(For the latest China news, Please follow People's Daily on Twitter and Facebook)(Web editor: Hu Ximeng, Bianji)

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