By Ma Huaqing
Food safety has been a major concern in China in recent years. There were the tainted milk powder, recycled waste cooking oil, fake eggs and even capsules made from recycled shoes. On September 24, recycled expired mooncakes (!!!) were discovered in Dongguan, Guangdong Province.
A wave of stench greeted officers from the Nancheng District Integrated Law Enforcement Branch with complete shock as they opened the heavy steel door of the illegal factory. The place stank so much that the stench only began to subside after the 4 ventilation fans were turned on for an hour.
Haversacks of egg yolk piled up along the corridor, a significant portion of them having already begun to decompose. Worse, a few drums of blackish oil stood next to it, with a dead rodent and a few dead cockroaches floating on the surface.
There were many carton boxes in the rooms containing brand-new, shiny and packaged mooncakes. Counterfeit brand names printed on them include “Anqi” “Qiwang” and “Haoxiangjia”. These mooncakes were initially manufactured last year, and would be recycled, re-packaged and put on sale again this year. The crackdown commenced at about 2:30pm and due to the overwhelming quantity of recycled mooncakes discovered, it only ended 7 hours later. The mooncakes police confiscated filled 5 entire trucks. Yet, more recycled mooncakes remained in the warehouse, as labourers were completely exhausted from the day’s work.
Located in a lychee forest, the illegal factory has been around since 2 to 3 years ago. It has about 10 workers, who complained that their boss was a mean man who paid them just 1,000RMB for a month’s work. Payments were often overdue, so they finally decided to report him to the authorities.