Sichuan food addicts beware! China’s food safety inspectors have found some startling news (well, actually it’s not that startling at all, as you can see here, here, and here), 13% of recently tested chili products have been found to be unsafe. The reason for the health concern is too much preservatives and improper labeling.
The General Administration of Quality Supervision, Inspection and Quarantine (say that 10 times fast) tested 48 different chili products from 12 different provinces. The conclusion was that most of the big producers were relatively safe, but there were a lot of health problems with the small ones. Our advice is to stay away from street peddlers selling dusty jars of preserved chilis.
In other related news, dried vegetables and fruits are also dangerous. Eight percent of the fifty tested products contained dangerous amounts of decolourant and sulphur dioxide. We always thought it was the sulphur dioxide that gave fruit that great fresh taste!
Not to be repetitive, but in related news, air fresheners are dangerous this week too. China has recalled Fengying brand air fresheners after three canisters had inexplicably exploded in Beijing. One shop owner was injured and received eight stitches to his face. Cao Zhongsheng, an official of the Beijing Administration of Industry and Commerce, explained, “The air freshener may probably have quality problems, which caused the explosion.” Brilliant!
It might just be us, but there appears to be some sort of trend with unsafe consumer products, food, and medicine in China. The Chinese government solution as seen by the recent execution order of Zheng Xiaoyu, the former head of the State Food and Drug Administration, and as reported by The Asia Times is to “Kill The Big Chicken To Scare The Monkeys”. Apparently chicken murder doesn’t really scare monkeys; Shanghaiist thinks that maybe stricter local level enforcement of food and drug safety laws will work better.