A shady vermicelli factory in Kunming has been exposed for using water from a pond where people go to wash their feet, Xinhua reports.
The vermicelli, made in Heilinpu village, Kunming, is sold in the nearby city. A local villager tipped off Sina News and brought them to Xiao Long Tan pond, where the factory sources its water.
“The factory has been around for years and often used the water from the Xiao Long Tan pond to make their vermicelli. Lots of villagers wash their vegetables and clothes in the pond, and some kids even throw dirty things into the pond.”
According to Xinhua, the factory owner pays to extract water from the pond where people wash their clothes, all in the name of lowering costs of vermicelli – which must be dirt-cheap anyway – or at least it is now. 2.3 yuan per kilogram, to be precise.
The factory did make a cursory nod towards food safety regulations: one of the ponds is clearly marked ‘strictly not for washing clothes’. But that’s it. Practically everyone washes their clothes in the wrong pond and the factory does nothing about it.
“Furthermore, the people in the factory do not have high cleanliness standards […] The water is stored in another pond right before it is used to make the vermicelli.”
First KFC toilet ice, and now feet water vermicelli. It’s not like the Chinese are unused to food safety regulation issues cropping up from time to time, ranging from the infamous melamine milk scandal, to candy-coloured yet lethal bubble tea straws. While to some extent we have all become relatively desensitised – just take a look at the continuing popularity of those gutter oil hotpot restaurants – how many of us can literally stomach feet water?
[Image credit: Xinhua // Via: Sina]