Chinese gang arrested in raid on filthy sheep factory where carcasses ‘were injected with polluted POND WATER to increase weight’
- Seven suspects held after ‘pumping dead animals with up to 6kg of water’
- Meat was then sold to markets, food stalls and restaurants in major cities
- Arrests are latest in a series of scandals to hit the Chinese food industry
Seven members of a Chinese gang have been arrested for allegedly injecting dirty pond water into lamb meat to swell its weight and boost profits.
The suspects slaughtered up to 100 sheep per day at an illegal warehouse and allegedly pumped up to 6kg of bacteria-ridden water into the dead animals, China Central Television (CCTV) reported.
The meat was then sold at markets, food stalls and restaurants in major cities such as Guangzhou and Foshan.
Last week, Wal-Mart Stores Inc, 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 filthy 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 kilograms of water just after being slaughtered to add extra weight.
Close to 40 per cent of Chinese think food safety is a ‘very big problem,’ the Pew Research Centre said in a 2013 report.
This has weighed on Chinese firms, from milk powder makers to meat producers, boosting 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 $12.4 billion infant formula market.
KFC parent Yum Brands Inc, McDonald’s Corp, French grocery chain Carrefour SA and other global firms have been caught up in food safety scares in China.