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Chinese Authorities Seize 40-Year-Old Smuggled Meat

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Some of the meat dates back to the '70s.

China Photos/Getty Images

Chinese diners beware: Meals at some restaurants across the county might involve 40-year-old meat. Authorities recently seized 100,000 tons of meat that was likely smuggled frozen into China through Vietnam, reports state news agency Xinhua (translated), and some of the product had original shipping dates going back to the 1970s. The meat was reportedly smuggled into the country to avoid customs inspections, and to make matters worse, it was transported up to 12 hours without refrigeration.

The New York Times notes that the meat, including chicken wings, beef, and pork, was often refrozen and then sold to retailers. Authorities seized the smuggled goods in 14 different Chinese provinces. The Changsha Administration of Customs says one-third of the meat being sold at the largest wholesale market in Hunan Province was found to be illegally smuggled.

A customs official told Xinhua the sting operation was nauseating: "It was too smelly! A truck full of it! I almost threw up when the door opened."

The latest scandal comes less than a year after five people were detained for selling expired meat to major chain restaurants — including McDonald's, KFC, Starbucks, and Burger King — in China. In that incident, a supplier "repacked old beef and chicken and put new expiration dates on them."


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