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Dumpling producer says its products are safe

A SHANGHAI-BASED frozen food manufacturer promised its products in the city are safe after one of its factories in Tianjin Municipality recalled a batch of tangyuan dumplings for the Lantern Festival after Beijing authorities discovered a substandard sample during tests.

Concerned about future sales, especially during today's Lantern Festival, Longfong Food Co Ltd, an instant food producer known for its frozen dumplings, dispatched staff to explain the situation to customers, retailers and distributors, said Meng Qingjiang of the company's marketing department.

Meng said all Longfong products sold in Shanghai were produced at its factory in neighboring Zhejiang Province. All of these products have passed quality tests, Meng added.

The Shanghai Food and Drug Administration also suggested customers put their minds at ease while purchasing food during the festival as the market is safe.

A batch of Ningbo Tangyuan dumplings made by Longfong had 20 percent more peroxide than the national standard. The excess peroxide may cause stomach upset, vomiting or diarrhea.

However, the standard was set for frozen animal products and nuts, while the major ingredients in the tainted Longfong dumpling were black glutinous rice and black sesames. Both food experts and Longfong Co said test results can vary due to different methods and personnel and that a 20 percent inaccuracy in sample tests is acceptable.

Fang Youzong, a food industry expert in Shanghai, said the excess peroxide won't have a big impact and that up to a 20 percent inaccuracy is allowed in the industry.

The Beijing business watchdog said on Thursday that Ningbo Tangyuan was the only substandard product among the 89 tested from 21 manufacturers. Samples were taken from 13 markets in Beijing.

The Tianjin plant has announced an unlimited recall on the batch of products with the serial number 20081231D05T.

As frozen food has strict limits on temperature conditions in storage, the company could not eliminate the possibility of improper practices in storage or vending by distributors or retailers, Meng said.


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