This year’s Mid-Autumn Festival （中秋节) falls on September 18. However, good samaritan that Shanghaiist is, we want to warn you before you stock up on moon cakes (月饼) to take heed of recent reports about the quality of these traditional Chinese delicacies.
The report states that in a government sponsored quality survey, out of the 211 tested moon cakes (they tested different types in different locations throughout the country), 11 failed the quality test.
One of the most common problems was the use of preservatives, especially benzoic acid. Other problems include how the moon cakes are stored as well as the packaging. For example, it is required by law that the place of manufacture and the date of manufacture has to be clearly printed on the package. If you buy a package with several moon cakes and find they have different shelf-lives, relax, this difference is accountable to the varying amounts of preservatives in each moon cake.
Among the places selling moon cakes that didn’t make the cut were Wal-Mart and Starbucks, at least, in Beijing. Hopefully, this plague has not yet spread to our lovely city, but it won’t hurt to pay a little more attention when you’re out buying moon cakes.
Also in Shanghaiist:
Let them eat moon cake