With memories of the global horse meat scandal finally fading, consumers in China are being served with a fresh round of controversy at the deli – this one involving rat meat being passed off as mutton, among other deceptions.
Chinese officials arrested 904 people who allegedly sold adulterated and mislabeled meat products, according to a report from the country’s official Xinhua News Agency. The arrests came after a three-month crackdown in which police uncovered 382 meat-related offenses and seized more than 20,000 tonnes of illegal goods, Xinhua said.
Street-side skewers being sold in Beijing. Is it mutton? Or mink? Or rat? Or…Offenses included producing water-injected meat and treating rat, mink and fox meat with chemicals in order to pass them off as beef and mutton, the report said.
The authorities’ newest beef with meat producers’ bait-and-switch comes as China’s food safety regulators renew efforts to clean up a sector that has for years been mired in scandal. The country’s leaders are aiming to create more trust of homegrown companies and boost consumer spending.