It has been reported that a batch of dried shredded squid sold at Metro supermarket was found to contain a high level of a toxic compound, and the Shanghai Municipal Food and Drug Administration (SHFDA) have demanded it be remove from sale immediately.
Two days ago, SHFDA released its latest report on the food sold from supermarkets across the city. Several physical and online stores were found to sell defective products, including the Jinshan outlet of Metro. Their snack, called ‘Delicious Shredded Squid,’ was found to contain excessive N-Nitrosodimethylamine (NDMA), a human carcinogen.
NDMA is a semi-volatile organic chemical usually found in cooked, smoked and cured foods. Due to its toxicity to human organs (especially the liver), most countries have strict controls over the amount of NDMA permitted in food. In China, the national standard limit is 4 micrograms per kilogram. However, the squid products sold at Metro were detected to contain 6.68 micrograms of NDMA per kilogram, that is 67 percent higher than what is regulated.
In total there were 20 packages of the toxic squid in the same batch. According to Metro, five packages had been sold, four packages were still in the storehouse and the remaining were sent to SHFDA for testing. The outlet has been ordered by SHFDA to terminate the sale of the unqualified product and recall the packages already sold.
In addition to the dried food items at Metro, there were other substandard food products exposed during this round of investigation. Among them were chocolate wafer biscuits sold at Walmart, dried fish slices from YHD, chocolate cupcakes from Auchan and pistachios and almonds sold at Carrefour. The reasons for these products being deemed defective include, excessive bacterial colonies, mould, NDMA and peroxide, respectively.
As a matter of fact, this is not the first time for Metro to appear on the black list of SHFDA. In February of this year, the Qingpu outlet of Metro was punished for selling peanut-flavored biscuits containing excessive peroxide.
While the SHFDA continually monitor the items sold around town, consumers are also encouraged to report any below standard food items calling 12331 or 12315, the official hotline of market supervision authorities, which received 371,000 complaints and tip-offs last year.
Today is World Consumer Rights Day, and more illegal operations will be exposed during the “315 Gala” hosted by CCTV. So, in addition to the efforts made by market supervision authorities, we, as consumers, need to be aware of what we are purchasing to ensure our health is kept as a number one priority.